Presevo Valley Albanians aim 4 deputies in the Serbian Parliament

Presevo Valley Albanians aim 4 deputies in the Serbian Parliament
 Four Albanian municipal political entities: Presevo, Bujanovac, and Medvedja in Serbia, known as the Presevo Valley, have agreed to run a unified electoral list in Serbia's parliamentary elections, which are expected to be held in the spring of this year.

According to them, reaching an agreement is the starting point to strengthen the voice of Albanian voters living in the Presevo Valley.

The agreement between the Party for Democratic Action, Alternative for Change, the Movement for Democratic Progress and the Movement for Reform of the Albanian Democratic Party was reached in Tirana on Thursday, with the mediation of the acting Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Albania, Gent Cakaj.

Albërim Arifi, mayor of Presevo, who comes from Alternative for Change, says that after reaching this agreement, the aim of the leaders of these political parties is to solve the problems that exist in the Presevo Valley to be brought to the Serbian Parliament, for which often these leaders have quarreled among themselves.

"The idea is that the Albanians in the Serbian Parliament, in the last 10 or 12 years, since they started to participate in this decade of this century, have not been represented, not only in sufficient numbers but also in quality. Now is another situation. Unification can bring three to four MPs, which enables a parliamentary group of 5 MPs, including another minority, to the Serbian Parliament. Then, we will begin to bring the quality we have been looking for for many years, not to say decades,” Arifi said.

Presevo Valley Albanians aim 4 deputies in the Serbian Parliament

Shaip Kamberi, mayor of the Bujanovac municipality, from the Party of Democratic Action, says that Presevo Valley Albanians have currently only one seat in the Serbian Parliament. In the previous legislatures of this state, according to him, there were other but few Albanian MPs who, besides raising awareness of Albanian problems, failed to impose any solution to those problems, due to lack of democratic capacities in Serbia.

"This time, when the opposition in Serbia is expected to boycott the elections when the talks between Kosovo and Serbia are expected to continue after the establishment of the government in Pristina, we think - and this was Tirana's idea - that the empowerment of voice Albanian politics in parliament will have an importance and a weight to represent our problems there. This will, in the first place, force Belgrade to seek the help of the international community, and of course Tirana and Pristina, to solve these problems, because there is a hopeless situation here in the Presevo Valley. ", emphasized Kamberi.

Expert on political developments in Kosovo, Armend Muja, says the agreement reached between political parties in the Presevo Valley on the unification of an electoral list for participation in Serbia's parliamentary elections is an attempt in the right direction, which is likely to be realistic, to be concretized.

“I see this as an attempt in the wake of a series of efforts that have been made, as before in the Albanian political corps in Montenegro earlier and later, now also in Bujanovac, Presevo, and Medvedja. However, unlike Montenegro, where the Albanian factor is often the determining factor, their influence here, however, given their small size in the electorate, will be small. However, it is important as a platform for unifying key national attitudes regarding their rights in the Valley and I think this is an important initiative,” said Muja.

Kosovo Albanian President Hashim Thaci welcomed the agreement of Albanian parties in the Presevo Valley. He said he welcomed "the agreement on the creation of a unified electoral list of Albanian parties in the Presevo Valley as an important tool for political empowerment and the protection of national interests".

In the parliamentary elections in Serbia in 2016, Albanian political parties living in Serbia, except for the Party for Democratic Action, did not take part in the election race because of what they had stated: dissatisfaction with the Serbian authorities' attitude towards Albanians in Serbia.

In the Serbian parliament, which has 250 deputies, Ardita Sinani has been elected as the only Albanian representative.
Presevo Valley Albanians aim 4 deputies in the Serbian Parliament Presevo Valley Albanians aim 4 deputies in the Serbian Parliament Saturday, January 18, 2020 Rating: 5
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