1. FRY/Kosovo: POLITICAL VACUUM
By Ylber Emra
2. Macedonia: LASTING INSTABILITY
By Zvezdan Georgievski
3.Azerbaijan : INTEGRATION PROCESS PUT ON START AT THE
By Mustafa Hajibeyli
Hans Haekkerup, the special envoy of the UN general
secretary to Kosovo, resigned only one year after suceeding
Frenchman Bernard Couchner, the first administrator of the
international community in Kosovo.
Haekkerup's resignation was announced on December 28,
two weeks after the Kosovar parliament failed to elect sole
candidate and leader of the Democratic Alliance of Kosovo,
Ibrahim Rugova as Kosovar president in its first round of voting.
That failure, as well as Haekkerup's departure, has created a
leadership and political vacuum in Kosovo.
Heakkerup's resignation, which he explained were for
personal reasons, met with various interpretations among
Kosovar politicians and media. Several days after his withdrawal
is too soon to deeply characterize his mission, especially since
the main protagonist didn't give much detail of his action to
Speculations about his resignation are now giving fuel to the
stories which first began their circulation two months ago - that
extremist political groups in Kosovo were threatening the envoy
of the UN general secretary and that his life was in danger.
Supporters of the theory are now pointing out that the stories
were first published in daily newpapers which were under the
direct control or indirect influence of the Kosovar political extremists.
Explaining his resignation with family reasons, Haekkerup has,
it seems, surprised the UN mission to Kosovo the most. The top
leadership of the UN was also surprised, says a source close to
UNMIK in Pristina. Haekkerup's departure, no matter how much
wanted by some currents among Kosovar politicians - both those
belonging to Albanian majority or Serbian minority - still came at
the most importune moment, since temporary power institutions
haven't been constituted yet.
The new UNMIK chief would immediately have to tackle political
struggles among Albanians, dissentions, and an extremely polarized
political scene. Haekkerup's successor will not have time for training
or gradual learning with the situation in the field. One western diplomat
says that this could seriously burden his mission and have a negative
reflection on general political stabilization, when combined with the
transformation of a significant part of political responsibility and
power to local politicians in Kosovo.
Haekkerup's last two months as UNMIK chief were
characterized by fierce opposition by the leaders of the two second
strongest parties, both of whom were leaders of Kosovo Liberation
Army. Hashim Taqi, leader of Democratic Party of Kosovo (DPK)
and Ramush Haradinaj, chief of Alliance for Kosovo Future (AAK),
opposed Haekkerup's struggle to convince Kosovar Serbs to
participate at the elections last November. The two of them didn't
even manage to hide their dissent over the Joint Document of FRY
and UNMIK which was signed in Belgrade by Haekkerup and
Yugoslav representatives. The document gave guarantees to remaining
Kosovar Serbs and opened a possibility for a mass return of exiled
There are about 80,000 and 110,000 Serbs currently residing in
Kosovo, which has a total population of 1,8 million people. According
to the international community, more than 250,000 Serbs moved away
or were exiled from the province following the deployment of KFOR in
June 1999. Also displaced were 60,000 Bosniaks (Moslems) and
tens of thousands of Romas.
The Joint Document served to create conditions for their return to
Kosovo. Talks about the document, signed only 15 days before the
November elections, lasted more than three weeks, both on expert
and political level. Representatives from UN headquarters were
also included in the negotiations.
The political leaders of the Kosovar Albanians, especially those
notorious for being extremists - like Taqi and Haradinaj - had to
swallow a bitter pill. They ultimately "forgave" him that
action, but they never forgot his statement issued three
days before parliamentary elections, in which he said that for the
next three years Kosovo would not be independent.
Neither Serbs nor Albanians have any kind remarks for
Haekkerup's year-long term in Kosovo, besides holding general
elections for Kosovar Assembly. Criticism is mostly directed at the
fact that Kosovo as a whole didn't make any progress from the
state left behind by Haekkerup's predecessor, Bernard Couchner,
who managed to undertake a population census and local elections,
although boycotted by Serbs.
With the aid of Belgrade authorities, Haekkerup suceeded in
organizing a census of non-listed Serbs in Kosovo and their exiled
compatriots, as well as preventing Serbs from boycotting
It seems that Haekkerup didn't want to take part in the game
between politically moderate Rugova and extremists Taqi and
Haradinaj. Leaving Pristina, he said that he trusted that the citizens
and politicians in Kosovo will have enough skill to find the most
appropriate solution for everybody involved. Before his statement,
prominent politicians from the three parties of Kosovar Albanians
circulated a story saying that Haekkerup would cancel his vacation
and make a short visit to Kosovo in order to resolve post-election
crisis. These "analyses" often mentioned special order about
repeated elections, but some claimed that the Dane will come to
"persuade and, if need be, order" how to vote and for whom. His
resignation, only briefly explained, confused all "analysts" and
swept away their theories.
The resolution of the political crisis in Kosovo, caused by fighting
among Albanian parliamentary parties for better positions in the
future government, has been postponed by Haekkerup's withdrawal
from Kosovo. As his possible successor is mentioned Michael
Steiner, the former political advisor to German chancellor
Gerhardt Schroeder. Although Steiner isn't too much happy with the
mention of his name in that context, according to one western representative
in Pristina, he does have a reputation as an excellent, stubborn but
also very skilled diplomat. Also, Balkan troubles aren't new
to him, as he was deputy to Karl Bildt in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
In expectation of this administrator, the leaders of the three strongest
parties of Kosovar Albanians are trying to find a solution to the post-
election crisis. Their positions are rather far apart as confirmed by
second round of voting for Kosovar president on January 10 when
Rugova failed to be elected once again. the political vacuum in Kosovo
Although the Macedonian conflict with its Albanian
ended last summer, thanks to formidable stick-and-carrot efforts
from international community, Macedonia is still far from achieving
The most recent report of the International Crisis Group (ICG)
proposed that NATO should stay in Macedonia at least until
September 2002, while suggesting that the OSCE continue its
operations until the end of 2002. This has caused a negative reaction
from Macedonian prime minister Ljupce Georgievski, who thinks that
the report is throwing a shadow of doubt on Macedonian institutions
and their skills in tackling the crisis. ICG representative Edward
Josef remarked that Macedonia still hasn't completely evaded the
danger of a break-apart and that continued presence of NATO and
OSCE would prevent this from occurring.
The international community favors a united Macedonia, but without
its current corrupted institutions. The Macedonian prime minister said
the ICG report was an appeal to topple down his government. Georgievski
is especially angry because the ICG is placing responsibility for the
causes of the the crisis on his cabinet and the Macedonian constitution,
and not on the Albanian side.
Macedonian politicians are especially criticized by the international
community because of its slow progress in adopting constitutional changes
which would guarantee more rights to Albanian national minority. These
changes had been a condition for the end of armed conflict.
For example, the parliament returned to the governmet a draft of
the Law on local government, which is a condition for donors conference,
claiming that the draft was giving too much authority to Albanians and
would thereby create ethnic-based regions in the country. The same
donors conference is very important for reconstruction of a completely
drained Macedonian economy.
The postponement of implementation of agreed constitutional
changes to improve the position of Albanian minority is deepening
the social and economic crisis and is giving fuel to permanent
instability in the country.
Macedonia could become stable if it immediately implemented
constitutional changes and started development of a pro-Western
civil democracy, which is opposed both by Macedonian and Albanian
sides, as well as by a negative legacy that is not easy to overcome.
The last parliamentary elections saw the victory of Macedonian
nationalist party VMRO-DPMNE, which inherited an already tense
political situation and even tenser inter-ethnic relations.
Although Macedonian nationalists entered a coalition with Albanian
political parties in Macedonia, it soon proved that the primary goal of
the coalition wasn't to ease political and ethnic tensions, but rather the
creation of protected political functions of each side with an un-checked
policy of favouritism and corruption.
Each side developed its own partisan "democracy" with people
divided into members and non-members of a party, into favored and
non-favoured, in society and business enterprises, even before the
state institutions. Without inscription into a party, people on
both sides lost their jobs. Under qualified party members got
high-ranking offices in the government, economy and the public sector.
Privatization wasn't transparent and was implemented not with the
goal to increase efficiency of Macedonian economy, but to fill the
failing state budget and secure provisions to the class of the favored.
The number of unemployed surpassed the number of those who had
a job. The state of law utterly collapsed.
The model became unstable and exploded, only superficially
according to ethnic division, since it might have exploded by any
other angle, both among the Albanian and Macedonian community.
It did first explode within Albanian community, only the "rebelled"
part of it didn't turn against their privileged Albanian brothers but
against the Macedonian state. The ruling part of the Albanian block
found itself on the side of "rebels" because it, also, wanted a better
status compared to major Macedonian community.
A significant impulse to the radicalization of the conflict
came from Kosovo, together with logistic support, so that
Albanians in Macedonia could enjoy rights which minorities in
Kosovo cannot even dream about. Kosovo has two sets of measures,
one for their own people, another for others, and had, and
possibly still has, a very negative role in the Macedonian crisis. The
question now is how the peace agreement signed this summer after
months of conflict, with the pressure of international community
(the so-called Ohrid document), can bring real peace to Macedonia if
the country itself doesn't move towards a civil state and remains
divided according to ethnicity. It has already been proven a road
of difficult obstacles, with many things still "resolved"
according to ethnic key. A civil society which, different from
partisan or national state, can be developed into state of law, is
still far in the future...
The most talked about subject today in Macedonia is the final
international agreement upon its name. As is well known, due to
Greek objections and alleged historical rights of Greece to
Macedonian name, after the break-apart of Yugoslavia, the country
was temporarily given the name of FYROM (Former Yugoslav Republic
of Macedonia). Now it has been proposed to return to the name of
Macedonia, while using the name Republic of Upper Macedonia in
all communications with Greece. Although this cession to Greece was
severely attacked by the Macedonian public, many think that soon a
compromise will be reached which could gain certain positive points
to the current government before the early elections this April.
However, a possible solution to the name of the country will be
only a small contribution to the overall solution of deep instability.
A name alone cannot aid survival of Macedonia, only democratic
development which is still nowhere to be seen can do it. The real
question is whether upcoming parliamentary elections will put into
surface political forces able to start such a process.
Isa Gambar has demonstrated that he is an open political
leader for the partnership with all the political forces. In October
last year, chairman of the Musavat Party Isa Gambar came out
with suggestions towards the unification of all the Azerbaijani
opposition forces. Thus, the political agenda has changed in the
country. The unnecessary and pointless confrontations amongst
the opposition parties have passed into the second plan and the
subject of integration at the democratic camp has become the
key question in the society.
The first part of Mr. Gambar's suggestions- conducting the
summit of the opposition leaders, signing an agreement on
partnership and mutual obligations, and creating a new
opposition-wide organization- has already been realized. On
December 28 2001, the first summit was held. It is expected
that the mentioned agreement and concrete decisions about the
initiatives on the new organization will be adopted at the second
summit scheduled for January 10 2002.
Will the initial election be held?
Analyses of the initial public discussion held around Mr.
Gambar's suggestions show that the most principal provision here-
the idea of a single candidate for presidency- is a provision not
only concerning the opposition camp itself. The Musavat chairman
suggests defining the single candidate of the opposition to the
presidency through initial election. Its realization should, in fact,
mean unification of the opposition around the single political team.
But parties like the National Independence, Democratic, and Liberal
that have their own claimers to the presidency, are concerned about
losing the initial elections and do not want to accept those suggestions.
And it means even if the initial elections are held and most of the
forces at the democratic camp are joined to that campaign, there is
no probability that the opposition will come out with a single candidate
at the forthcoming presidential elections.
Which direction is the development of the processes headed toward?
The key factor preventing the opposition's integration is the
personal ambitions of the leaders. Though democratic elections
have not been held in the country until now, it is impossible to
exactly determine the political weight of the parties. And it
causes the appearance of groundless ambitions that prevent
normal partnership of the democratic forces. It is clear that neither
the campaign for the importance of integration nor the efforts made
for bringing together the opposition will cause the party leaders to
leave voluntarily off their claims. The integration processes might
speed up only in the event that one of the political forces strongly
differs from the others in its social base and influence on society.
And being that force in the first place does not cause doubt of its
At present, a force claiming such a position is the Musavat, the
Popular Front Party [Conservative branch], and the Democratic
Congress of parties allied with them. Support of the Musavat Party
by most of the electorate who are dissatisfied with the government
confirm the real results of the last parliamentary elections, public polls
held during the last years, as well as other factors. Putting forward the
idea of an initial election by the Musavat's chairman is not accidental.
Isa Gambar is sure of his victory at any democratic election.
The creation of a broad political coalition is inevitable. But with the
current situation in Azerbaijan, to ensure the democracy in the elections
is more difficult than to gain success in the elections. Nevertheless,
the 2000 parliamentary elections showed that there is a need for broader
coalition of the opposition in order to prevent election falsification.
At the moment, this process is going on. Even if it is impossible to
bring together all the forces at the opposition, there is no doubt
that the efforts toward integration will cause creation of a
political coalition broader than the present ones. It is true that
observations show that to mobilize organizations like the
National Independence, Democratic, Liberal, and Popular Front
[Reformers branch] Parties to the desired coalition will be
impossible. Thus, there are tens of other small or big parties at
the democratic camp and in case of unification of those forces;
the vacuum caused from the different position of the mentioned
parties at the matter of integration will not be visible.
By proposing the mentioned initiative, Isa Gambar has first
of all demonstrated that he is an open political leader for the
partnership with all the political forces. At present, there are 5 or 6
political party leaders amongst the nominees to presidency from the
democratic camp. But there are nearly 30 parties in the opposition
and it is clear that when the moment of choice comes, most of them
might prefer collaboration with a party which would be more open
for partnership and which would have more chance. The Citizen's
Unity Party led by former president Ayaz Mutallibov has acted
alone until now. However, it has initiated a partnership with the
democratic camp, attending several joint ceremonies of the opposition
during the past month. Public opinion holds that the Citizen's Unity
Party has closed with the Musavat. However, last year's experience
shows that a simple partnership does not necessarily mean a solution
of any concrete issue, such as ensuring democratic elections. For
that reason, it appears necessary to create broader political coalitions.
The suggestion of attending the opposition with a single candidate in
the presidential elections stems from this problem. On the other hand,
the creation of a coalition that will be able to cope with aggression in
the country, such as the prevention of election falsification, will
make the forces outside of that coalition more accountable in their
So, there has been a start to the integration process at the
democratic camp of Azerbaijan. The parties not relying on his
power and not being interested in determining the balance of
political forces are not bare to join to this campaign. But the
held observations gives ground to prognosticate that while the
process is developing, the political forces outside of the
integration will remain face-to-face with the danger of public
reproach. And this factor will stimulate covering of them
mentioned factor the absolute majority of the opposition.