by Sasha Uzunov
The US-backed ethnic Albanian Neo-Nazi Party in Macedonia DUI which won 15 to 16 seats in Macedonia’s recent election, marred by enormous controversy, is demanding that its man Naser Ziberi be appointed Prime Minister and in return, DUI giving its support to either major Macedonian parties – the Macedonian Social Democrats SDSM or the centre-right VMRO-DPMNE to form a coalition government – 61 seats are needed.
SDSM, led by Zoran Zaev, Prime Minister until handing over to a caretaker in the election lead up, has won 46 seats- so DUI’s 15 to 16 seats would get it over the line to form a government.
DUI regards WW2 Albanian Nazi collaborators such as Xhem Hasa Gostivari as heroes. Xhem, who murdered Macedonians and Albanians, was a member of the WW2 Albanian Nazi quisling militia known as the Balli Kombetar whose supreme leader in Tirana, Albania, Midhat Frasheri was involved in the deportation of Kosovo Jews to the Nazi death camps.
The Macedonian election was held on Wednesday 15 July in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic. A State Electoral Commission (DIK) computer meltdown during the tally raised allegations of voter irregularities but was given a clean bill of health by the US Embassy in Macedonia.
The Albanian vote
Albanian Neo-Nazi leader In Macedonia Ali Ahmeti says his party DUI has won the most ethnic Albanian votes in the Macedonian election.
That tells a very alarming story -the popularity of Albanian Neo-Nazi ideology and extremism remains widespread within the ethnic Albanian electorate in Macedonia and shows no sign of abating and there is deliberate support from it by the West.
DUI’s massive corruption seems not to have mattered to the voters. So we are seeing a “hardening” of extremist views. That doesn’t augur well for Macedonia’s long term future. Ethnic Albanians are about 15 to 17% of the population, going on the latest anecdotal evidence.
Moreover, DUI as a US proxy and “insurance policy” acts as a political kingmaker as it has done since its inception via the 2001 war. The push for an “Albanian Prime Minister” for Macedonia means it has come from Washington. Reason being? DUI is 100% loyal to the US – to put it bluntly, a client – and will make sure that both controversial Prespa Agreement with Greece and the so-called Goodneoghbourly Deal with Bulgaria are fully implemented by Macedonia-but which end up erasing Macedonian identity in order to satisfy US allies Greece and Bulgaria.
Will SDSM or VMRO-DPMNE, both are pro US, accept DUI’s demands for an “Albanian Prime Minister? That remains to be seen…The whole idea is absurd in demanding a member of a minority group in Macedonia, which has enormous rights to begin with, be made Prime Minister of a country rather than leading a party which has majority support from the electorate and whose ethnicity should be irrelevant.
-AN IN-DEPTH ANALYSIS OF THE ELECTION IS COMING SOON..
ELECTION FRAUD IN MACEDONIA?
by Sasha Uzunov
With the dust now settled on what pundits are calling the most fraudulent parliamentary elections in Macedonian history, politicians from rival parties are grumbling that votes were stolen in an organised way by the concerted actions of the big three parties- VMRO—DPMNE and SDSM on the Macedonian side, and DUI on the ethnic Albanian side.
Literally, thousands of complaints, almost 2,000 from the left-wing Levica movement alone, have piled up at the State Election Commission’s door. The process of publically reviewing these complaints is slated to last for 72 hours starting on the evening of 19 July.
THE BIG WINNER- THE ETHNIC ALBANIAN PROJECT
While the first two parties finished nearly neck-and-neck (with 44 MPs secured for the VMRO-DPMNE coalition and 46 for SDSM’s own coalition, which included the ethnic Albanian Besa party), the big winner of the elections was the ethnic Albanian political project in general. The elections delivered them a stunning 12 MPs more than in the 2016 election, despite relatively low turnout caused by the COVID crisis and restrictions on travel which prevented dual passport holding Albanians from Kosovo and Albania from coming to vote.
However, SDSM leader Zoran Zaev, who has faithfully carried out his duties as Washington’s puppet in changing Macedonia’s name and identity while also introducing bilinguality – a core element of the long-standing project to ethnically federalise or even divide Macedonia – found a way to create more Albanian MPs by simply changing election laws and gerrymandering the boundaries in Mavrovo-Rostuse soon before the election.
Parties are now negotiating to form a governing coalition, which requires at least 61 seats of the 120 total parliamentarian seats. SDSM and DUI, the outgoing coalition partners, seemed to have a major rift before the campaign, but given the usual theatrics, it’s hard to say how much of that is just political grandstanding. Ali Ahmeti, the former warlord and DUI leader since 2002, called immediately after the elections for a joint meeting of all Albanian parties so as to get in line behind him and his 15 MPs to concentrate on their usual hardline nationalist positions- which this time included a demand that their man Naser Ziberi become prime minister. Ziberi may be a long shot, regardless of which parties form the coalition, but the 2020 election’s general trend towards more power for the Albanian bloc – and all without a census since 2002 – is undeniable.
DIMITAR APASIEV- LEFTIST LAW PROFESSOR SEIZING THE MORAL HIGH GROUND
The politician who capitalised most successfully on mass accusations of fraud was the outspoken Dimitar Apasiev of the left-wing Levica. This young law professor who became prominent in the 2016 Soros ‘Colourful Revolution’ against the former VMRO-DPMNE government of Nikola Gruevski, later broke with fellow leftists like Zdravko Savevski and Pavle Bogoevski. In the recent election, Apasiev led Levica to win 2 seats in parliament- but claimed that he was robbed of three additional ones by fraud, handing in a grand total of 1,982 fraud complaints to the SEC.
Apasiev won some admiration from the Macedonian public for his claims of standing up for electoral integrity. In one interview with Nova Makedonija he laid out his case:
In the interview, he pointed out certain oddities like the fact that while his relatives in Skopje’s Karpos and Kisela Voda municipalities had voted for him, the local polling station data recorded by the SEC officially tallied zero votes for Levica.
Apasiev also said that even though he could play a kingmaker role in the future coalition with his two MPs, he is determined to take a principled stand in the opposition and predicts that the next government will not last long- perhaps even falling by the time of the next local elections. He believes that Levica will see massive gains by then due to the people’s frustration with the corruption of the old guard, and have a chance to be a major political force in the future.
For now, the former Colourful Revolutionary has eaten away at the nationalistic base of VMRO-DPMNE, which did not even try to campaign on any sort of nationalistic platform. Apasiev said in his interview that Levica in opposition intends to fight against the ethnic federalization goals of Zaev and the Albanian parties, and also to change the Macedonian electoral law so that the country is one electoral unit. For years this has been a chronic complaint of smaller parties as the current system of six units favours the large and entrenched parties.
THE DUI MACHINE- FRAUD ALLEGED BY OTHER ALBANIAN PARTIES, TOO
It was not only Macedonian politicians angry about ballot fraud, however. Arben Taravari, Gostivar mayor and head of the electoral committee of the Alliance of Albanians, made several scathing comments about DUI in an interview reported by Infomax.
Taravari stated that “we have clear cases of electoral fraud which was happening from 7-9pm. Exactly at that moment was some unbelievable difference in the results. Fraud helped DUI in Dolneni to get 2,200 votes and we had only 200, in Plasnica was 2,000 for them and 100 for us, which is out of one’s mind- there are many other cases like this. There are certain other polling stations in Bitola where there are little or no Albanian voters, but DUI has hundreds of votes.”
A NUMBERS GAME
Another Infomax article analysed the perplexing confusion of different and contradictory results that the SEC issued during the course of election day. These oddities lead to further questions.
In the 17 July article, it says SEC President Oliver Derkovski’s final presentation of results “does not correspond with reality,” calling the numbers into question.
Alfa also reported in detail that the SEC behaviour in constantly changing the numbers was rather odd.
Not only the number of total votes, but valid and invalid ballots keep changing as the Commission tries to get the maths ‘right’ to please its minders in the main political parties and Western embassies. Alfa stated that the SEC blamed ‘technical errors’ for the inconsistencies.
For example, on 16 July the SEC announced that 942,334 voters had voted, which was 1,416 less than what was announced a day later, Alfa reported. Alfa added that 31,466 ballots were invalid. This marked an increase of 148 invalid ballots. According to the new figures, the number of unused ballots also magically increased by 624. It has also been hotly debated on social media as to whether the SEC actually printed more ballots than exist registered voters.
The general point is that few in Macedonia (whether Macedonians, Albanians or others) trust the system any longer. However, this is of little interest to SDSM head honcho Zoran Zaev, who immediately after securing victory in an election he claimed had to be held as soon as possible, despite the massive COVID numbers, said that he was going on holidays.
THE SEC WEBSITE SCANDAL- ANONYMOUS TROUBLEMAKERS, OR FOREIGN AGENTS?
All of the unknowns and debated numbers, on and after election day, have been magnified by the rather bizarre alleged cyber-attacks against the State Election Commission website and Google-clone news aggregator Time.mk, both of which occurred during the afternoon of the elections.
Pro-Zaev foreign media like Balkan Insight took the claimed Denial-of-Service attack by a supposed “Anonymous Macedonia” organisation at face value:
According to Balkan Insight, the hackers were making a symbolic protest against the entire political system for letting down the citizens. This is a rather bizarre conclusion to that and reeks of lazy journalism, as there is no such group in Macedonia and especially not one that could afford to conduct such a cyber-attack.
Indeed, considering that the so-called ‘Russian threat’ has been a major talking point in the Western media over the last few years when it came to justifying Macedonia’s humiliating name-change to satisfy Greek demands and enter NATO, one would think that the same Western media and politicians would immediately blame Russia, or China, or some other foreign country for the attack. Curiously, however, they did not, choosing instead to bury the story as quickly as possible and move on.
However, some local politicians who could hardly be considered anti-American came to a completely different conclusion about the incident.
In his interview mentioned above, Dimitar Apasiev stated that “after I consulted with experts, [I learned] that such a distributed hacking attack with a huge number of coordinated IP addresses, costs several million euros, and only a small number of people or structures in Macedonia could afford this. I am not familiar with the motives, but my intuition says that this is the involvement of a foreign embassy from one powerful NATO member state.”
Despite these explosive allegations, both the local and foreign media seem reluctant to follow up on the ‘cyber-attack’ story, which is odd considering that by becoming a NATO member, Macedonia is meant to have stable elections and communications infrastructure. The fact that no one seems to care about the attack indicates that it was either an inside job or, possibly, never even occurred- the websites affected could have taken themselves offline for a certain time while the parties were trying to get the vote tallies to match with their orders.
This is partly the suspicion of many Macedonians who voiced their concerns on social media during the election, pointing to strange disparities like the above mentioned (and other cases like the purely Macedonian village of Vevcani, which somehow registered numerous votes for DUI). The suspicion, which so far no media seems to want to report, has it that the SEC website was taken down in a coordinated action, whether by hacking or not so that SDSM, VMRO-DPMNE, and DUI could begin major ballot-stuffing efforts as the afternoon turned into evening on the 15th.
Many commenters also noted that there might have been another factor behind fraud and that is the rampant COVID crisis, which meant that the OSCE did not deploy its typical large number of field observers to local polling stations. Under these conditions, people acting on fraudulent impulses could more easily get away with it.
Most likely the exact happenings of 2020 election are bound to remain cloudy. If the degree of fraud alleged by politicians and pundits and regular citizen is accurate, only new elections could fix the situation. But with all major parties in Macedonia still firmly in the grip of Western embassies and NATO, it is not likely that it would result in any real changes for Macedonia’s policies with its neighbours on controversial issues like the Prespa Agreement or Good-Neighbourly Relations accord with Sofia.
2020 ELECTION IN MACEDONIA: US claim of Russian “meddling” in Macedonia disproved
Pro Russian party in Macedonia Edinvstena Makedonija (its leader Janko Bacev pictured above) wasn’t involved in any “black ops” and didn’t even win one parliamentary seat ! On the contrary Edinstvena Makedonija has claimed it was cheated of votes in a dirty tricks campaign.
What is the clincher that the “Russia scare” as a US tactic is both hilarious and amateurish is key pro US Serbs in Macedonia who support Zaev such as Pavle Bogoevski, Borjan Jovanovski, Nenad Jovanovic, Radmila Sekerinska (the Defence Minister of Macedonia), Sasa Bogdanovic-Srpce, Svetomir Skaric etc refuse to protest against Serbia, Russia’s ally. Not one pro US/NATO rally has been held outside the Serb Embassy in Macedonia by these people not even during the election campaign. We’ve been told repeatedly that Russia allegedly uses Serbia as its “proxy” in Macedonia. But once again no one was willing to back that up with a public display or march.
NO COMMENT– Albanian Neo-Nazi PM for Macedonia becomes a political hot potato.
Mr Bojan Maricic, an advisor to Macedonian Social Democrats (SDSM) leader Zoran Zaev and Ms Uranija Pirovska, the head of Macedonia’s Helsinki Watch Committee, have both refused to take calls or respond to media questions over the possibility that Macedonia could have a right-wing Albanian Neo-Nazi endorsed candidate, Naser Ziberi, as Prime Minister.
Both were contacted by telephone and simply refused to answer, hanging up. A text message was also forwarded but without a response.
Text message sent:
I wanted to get your media comment – do you support or condemn Albanian Neo-Nazi candidate Naser Ziberi as Prime Minister of Macedonia?
Mr Ziberi has been selected by Albanian Neo-Nazi leader Ali Ahmeti from the DUI party. DUI regards WW2 Albanian Nazi collaborators such as Xhem Hasa Gostivari as heroes.
As you’re well aware right-wing Neo-Nazi extremism has become a problem in the Balkans region – as in Greek Neo-Nazi Golden Dawn and Bulgarian Neo-Nazi Ataka parties.