SDSM deputy leader and rumored presidential candidate Muhamed Zekiri opened a fight with the ethnic Albanian DUI party over which party deserves more praise for pushing through the law on the use of languages, which would make the Albanian language official across Macedonia. The law was published by the Official Gazette yesterday, despite the fact that President Gjorge Ivanov refused to sign it as clearly unconstitutional.
Zekiri is the highest ranking ethnic Albanian in SDSM and he responded to the jubilant comments from DUI officials. The Government overall and non-Albanian SDSM officials are largely silent on the issue.
We didn’t hear a word from them (DUI) while they were in coalition with VMRO-DPMNE for over a decade. And now they want to promote themselves with someone else’s work, Zekiri told DUI, opening a rift in the coalition between the two parties.
The law goes far beyond what was accepted by the main ethnic Macedonian and Albanian parties after the 2001 war, and President Ivanov refused to sign it as unconstitutional. SDSM and DUI abused the procedure introduced to adopt laws that align Macedonia’s system with that of the EU to adopt the law without extensive debate. It installs a costly system of using the Albanian language even in parts of the country which have little to no ethnic Albanians and will institute fines for public employees who don’t speak Albanian.
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