Two small ethnic Albanian opposition parties in Macedonia, the BESA movement and the Alliance for Albanians, are insisting that the change of the constitution - to implement the agreement on the name with Greece - is a good opportunity for further changes that would improve the status of Albanians in the country.
The question of the name and the Albanian language
However, their further support on the name issue depends on the other parties accepting their demands for a constitutional change that would make the Albanian language official throughout the country.
"We believe that the time has come for some of these political questions regarding the Albanians to be part of the debate.
And that they are naturally adopted so that they can finally be resolved. "- said the deputy of BESA, Fadil Zendeli, emphasizing also how BESA already has an agreement with the Alliance for the Albanians.
Along the same lines, Ziadin Sela, leader of theAlliance for the Albanians, stated that his party wants to change the preamble of the constitution, so that it is clearly stated that the Albanians, like the Macedonians, are a constituent people of the country.
Together, these two opposition parties, have four deputies in the parliament from 120 posts, which could prove crucial during the further rounds of voting for the name agreement.
On the other hand, the largest ethnic Albanian party in parliament, the small democratic union, declared that it did not want additional requests:
"We think this process is a top priority. We have worked for 17 years to reach this moment and we will not endanger this process with further requests. ”- said the party's deputy, Artan Grubi.
What is the Republic of Northern Macedonia missing?
The Macedonian parliament, last Friday, approved the first phase of the agreement on the name. All members of the Albanian ethnic parties voted in favor.
This helped to reach the minimum of favorable 80 - the majority of two / thirds - to the government's motion to initiate a constitutional amendment procedure, to allow the name of the country to become the Republic of Northern Macedonia, as agreed with the Greece in the summer.
But in order for the process to be fully implemented, parliamentarians will have to vote two more times. First they will have to pass the draft amendments proposed by the government and then, after a public debate, they will have to vote for the third and last time. The third vote will again require a majority of two / thirds.
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