Sunday, May 19, 2024

A CAMPAIGN WITH “BOMBS” AND ETHNIC POLARIZATION

The election campaign appears to be marking a political polarization with ethnic tones. This can be seen in the battle between SDSM and DUI. But “traditional” political rivalries are likely to be even stronger and they will not choose the means. Below the iceberg of political normalcy are low blows coming in the form of so-called “bombs.” This exceeds the code for fair and democratic elections, while these “bombs” are prohibited by law. The battle understood as “for life or death” knows no bounds.

CPD analysis

Along with the summer temperatures, it seems that the temperature of the pre-election campaign is rising. Political parties are already on the ground, while political clashes are always taking another turn. Most likely, these elections will be a battle for every vote, while each party is already trying to entice the electorate with political ideas, which are thought to “collect” as many voters as possible for the decisive day of July 15. The SDSM coalition and the Besa Movement have focused on the electoral message “we can, even more and better”, while VMRO-DPMNE with the message “head up Macedonia, choose the recovery”. A motto chosen as opposition to SDSM’s main motto “On the right track”.

In the Albanian political bloc, also political parties are already animating their political messages, through which it is required to recruit as many voters as possible for the July 15 elections. The Democratic Union for Integration has come up with the idea “time for the first Albanian prime minister”, while the coalition Alliance for Albanians and Alternativa with the motto “state for all”. The Albanian Democratic Party has come up with the motto “summer is coming, the door is open”, while as a basic political idea it has posted the post of Albanian Deputy Minister with the right to veto.

The dynamics of the campaign so far mark a rivalry between the parties in the Macedonian political bloc, between SDSM and VMRO-DPMNE, while in the Albanian political bloc between the DUI and the coalition Alliance for Albanians and Alternativa on the one hand and the DUI of the DPA as a rivalry that has our “traditional”. A political battle in these elections is also taking place between Albanian political entities and SDSM, which is in coalition with the Besa Movement. On this level, meanwhile, there is an opposition that is already taking on an ethnic premise.

In the level of this opposition that is receiving ethnic premise, in particular, we can see the clashes between SDSM and DUI, which has already launched the idea of ​​”Albanian Prime Minister”. In the controversy of the campaign, these clashes between these two parties are already being noticed, while in a televised debate, the former Prime Minister, Zoran Zaev, has emphasized that not being conditioned by DUI can offer the model of minority government, ie take or to give VMRO-DPMNE MPs, depending on the results of who will take the mandate to form the government.

Most likely, this opposition with ethnic premise will take place throughout the campaign, and this will most likely create extreme polarization.

However, this is the political plane of opposition that remains within the framework of political and democratic normalcy. But this campaign, meanwhile, is taking place on another level, especially in the Macedonian political bloc. So far, several bombs have been dropped in public, claiming to discredit the political opponent. Apparently, another battle of discrediting “bombs” will take place under the top of the iceberg of this political normality, which gives the pre-election campaign a bitter taste. It seems that the battle for “life or death” of the two parties in the Macedonian political bloc would spare no effort to achieve the desired victory.

It seems that in parallel with a normal and moderate campaign, packaged through electoral strategies, many so-called “bombs” will be “thrown” in the public eye, which each of these parties probably possesses for each other. At this point the campaign takes on a whole other tone and transcends the commitments made by political parties for fair elections through the signing of the Code for Fair and Democratic Elections.

The so-called “bombs”, which the former opposition led by leader Zoran Zaev used against, as they called the “Gruevski regime”, seem to be already a favorite “sport” in this election, despite the fact that they were banned by law, which was voted on by all political parties in North Macedonia. But the political passion of victory, of the annihilation of the political opponent, is not a limit. This battle for “life or death” no longer precludes even these low blows, which violate the rules of democratic competition and create a deeply tense atmosphere in the electorate.

Switching to this type of campaign degenerates the idea of ​​democratic competition and defocuses the content of the campaign itself. Citizens expect concrete election offers and not “bombs” of political annihilation, which can satisfy the instantaneous egos of those who use them, but can realistically reflect the electoral apathy, which can also affect the echo of the election day.

Exactly this type of campaign, but also the shadow of the corona virus that really appears as a danger, can significantly affect the exit of voters on July 15. But it is likely that this type of campaign, despite the declarations for fair elections, will continue in the coming days, as a typical Balkan archetype to discredit the political opponent and not to compete with political vision, which most expect. of citizens. Realistically, if the logic of the “bombs” continues, everything else will remain in their shadow, while the citizens will not have the opportunity to accept the political platforms that give them meaning and are the only content that should have a democratic political competition.

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