Democratic Union for Integration


Democratic Union for Integration
Democratic Union for Integration
Демократска унија за интеграција
Bashkimi Demokratik për Integrim
Leader Ali Ahmeti
Founded 2001
Ideology Upholds and protects the rights of the Albanians.
International affiliation None
European affiliation None
Official colours Blue
Website
http://www.bdi.org.mk
Politics of the Republic of Macedonia
Political parties
Elections

The Democratic Union for Integration (Albanian: Bashkimi Demokratik për Integrim, BDI, Macedonian: Демократска унија за интеграција, ДУИ, Demokratska unija za integracija, DUI) is the largest Albanian political party in the Republic of Macedonia, and the third largest political party in all of Macedonia. It was formed immediately after the country's 2001 conflict between the National Liberation Army (NLA) and the Macedonian Security Forces.

DUI succeeded the NLA, after the war in Macedonia in 2001, when the latter was dismantled and disarmed. The NLA leader Ali Ahmeti became party president, while the para-militant wartime headquarters was transformed and legalized as the party governing body[citation needed]. However, after the war, many Albanian intellectuals from Macedonia, that were not members of the NLA, joined the party[citation needed]. The political party was formed in June 2002.

At the legislative elections on 15 September 2002, the party won 11.9% of the popular vote (70% of the Albanian vote) and 16 of 120 seats.

From 2002 to 2006 it was part of the ruling coalition along with the Social Democratic Union of Macedonia (SDSM) and the Liberal Democratic Party.

In the 2006 legislative election, the party formed coalition with Party for Democratic Prosperity and Democratic League of Bosniaks. This coalition received 12,2% of the vote and 18 seats. Although DUI won the largest number of seats among ethnic Albanian parties (14), since their Macedonian governmental partners lost the election, it was not invited by the new Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski to participate in the new government. Its place was taken by the second largest Albanian political party, the Democratic Party of the Albanians.

However, after the 2008 legislative early election, the party returned to government in coalition with VMRO-DPMNE.

In the 2011 parliamentary election, DUI received 10.2% of the total vote, winning 15 seats. This is a loss of the 3 seats from the previous election.[1]

Contents

Controversy

Party symbol

The party's flag and symbol show the first letter of every word of the party name in Albanian (BDI), topped by seven stars of which one is encircled in a white circled. It has been theorized that each star represents one part of Greater Albania:

The seventh encircled star is said to represent Greater Albania.

This theory has never been confirmed by any party officials, and all allegations for their claims for a Greater Albania have been officially denied. The stars are officially referring to the party's plea for Macedonia's future in the European Union

Skopje Fortress incident

After the foundations of a 13th century church (in fact, one of three) were found within the Skopje Fortress complex, the Cultural Heritage Protection Office actioned a project to restore it in the form of a church museum. DUI politicized the restoration and called for the construction of a mosque alongside the planned church museum. Their calls were not taken seriously by the Cultural Heritage Protection Office on account of there never having been any Islamic monuments within the complex (which predates Islamic influence in the region). Restorative efforts were briefly halted to allow for the calming of tensions. However, as soon as restoration was resumed, hundreds of DUI supporters converged on the site on February 11, 2011, among them the leaders of DUI and other high-ranking ethnic Albanian ministers, and many then proceeded to destroy and vandalize the site.[2]

External links

References

  1. ^ "Conservative Leader Claims 3rd Term In Macedonia" (in English). NPR. 2011-06-06. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=136984879. Retrieved 2011-06-06. 
  2. ^ "100 DUI Activists Try to Bring Down Church at Kale Fortress". Macedonian International News Agency. 2011-02-11. http://macedoniaonline.eu/content/view/17554/2/. Retrieved 2011-02-12. 

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