Tuesday, May 13, 2008

One Dead in Macedonia Pre-Election Violence

A person was killed in one of several incidents in Macedonia over the weekend, amid ongoing rivalries between the country’s two main ethnic Albanian parties.

Baskim Rustemi, 42, from the village of Gajre, near the western town of Tetovo, died from stab wounds on Saturday night, after being involved in a quarrel with another man, police said. The identity of the killer is apparently known to police.

The Democratic Party of Albanians, DPA said Rustemi was a long standing member of the party.

Earlier on Friday, five activists from the Democratic Union for Integration, DUI , were beaten in the village of Kondovo near Skopje after trying to display party flags ahead of the election campaign which officially kicked off on Sunday.

The activists, who needed hospital treatment, claim they were beaten by members from the ruling DPA.

In a separate incident, a night club owned by a former DPA member, Fadil Arslani was torched in Tetovo. A club security guard was previously kidnapped and released shortly afterwards with his head covered and hands tied.

Arslani claimed his club was torched due to his recent association with the DUI.

Meanwhile the DUI party headquarters in the villages of Golema Recica and Kamenjane around Tetovo and Gostivar were shot at on Saturday night.

DUI accused the DPA for the incidents but the ruling party denied any connection.

The police have said the incidents are being probed. So far there have been no arrests.

Prior to the start of the campaign, all major parties signed a code pledging free and democratic elections.

European Union and NATO officials have said that the snap polls set for June 1 must be fair, so Macedonia can continue to deepen its Euro-Atlantic integration

During parliamentary elections in 2006, there were several incidents between the rival Albanian parties but international monitors assessed the procedure on a whole as fair and democratic.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

To ADD something on this, this problem is between the country’s two main ethnic Albanian parties.
When they doing something wrong against R. Macedonia, ethnic Albanians are "Macedonians"
If this same Albanians do something positive, than their call them self's Albanians !!!