Gostivar Mayor Arben Taravari, who is deputy leader of the Alliance of Albanians, said that he agrees in principle with the call that an ethnic Albanian Prime Minister is appointed after the elections, but said that it is not a realistic proposal. The demand comes from the DUI party and its leader Ali Ahmeti, who declare it to be their condition to join any of the winning parties, presumed to be VMRO-DPMNE and SDSM, in a post-election coalition.

Taravari says that DUI is about to go in the opposition for only the second time in the past 18 years, and is going to use this nationalist posturing move as an excuse to leave the Government.

No law bans an ethnic Albanian to be Minister of Interior, Finance, Prime Minister… Why is he saying this, this demagoguery? He will lose the elections and will say that DUI is going to be an opposition party because of this demand, and not because it lost. In fact, even now it’s clear that either Mickoski or Zaev will be the next Prime Minister. I’m not opposed to Ahmeti’s demand, but he should explain the math behind it. How will we get to 61 seats in Parliament? Ahmeti is insulting our intelligence, Taravari said.

DUI has played a kingmaker role after most elections since it was formed in 2002, out of the UCK/NLA terrorist movement Ahmeti led in a war against Macedonians. This has protected its leadership from both war crimes and corruption charges. DUI is currently involved in a bitter fight for the ethnic Albanian vote with the Alliance of Albanians and the growing Albanian wing in SDSM.