Izet Mexhiti, one of the top leaders of the Albanian VLEN coalition, said that they will not insist on a change in the Constitution at all cost. This is the main outstanding issue between VLEN and VMRO-DPMNE, who are close to negotiating a coalition to form the next Government.

Albanian parties generally want Macedonia to accept the Bulgarian demands and to rewrite the Constitution to include the Bulgarian minority – while VMRO-DPMNE wants this to be done along with some reciprocal measures by Bulgaria to support the Macedonian minority there, and at the end of Macedonia’s EU accession process, to avoid further demands from Bulgaria.

These changes primarily depend on the larger community, namely the Macedonians. We don’t want in any way for them to feel threatened or left alone. On the contrary, we want to find a common path toward EU integration, which is the only aspiration of all citizens in the country, Mexhiti said.

VLEN is clearly declaring that they will not follow the path of the previous Albanina coalition partner DUI, which was trying to impose these changes on the Macedonians, even though many of the Bulgarian demands affect the Macedonian national identity. This pressure greatly contributed to the election results, where VMRO-DPMNE dominated over DUI’s coalition partner SDSM among the Macedonian voters.