Saturday, 23 October 2021 | News today: 0

President Ivanov: Facebook campaign and leading a country is not the same

After five-year presidential term, former professor enters the election campaign once more. His greatest assets are the vast number of citizens, considering him an honorable politician with firm position in regard of the so-called identity issues and principled position towards everybody not respecting the Macedonian language and nation. In an interview for the weekly magazine Republika, President Ivanov does not want to respond to the attacks of the largest political opponent Stevo Pendarovski, who attacked him severely after he was elected at SDSM’s congress. Let deeds speak for him, Ivanov jokes a little. He respects all counter-candidates, but he is positive that the constant criticism without any done work, the expensive campaign on Facebook, the agreement with Ahmenti and the courtship to the foreigners and Crvenkovski cannot bring anybody to the presidential position.

The beginning of the campaign has shown that, unlike your opponent Pendarovski, who is quite active on the social networks, you have decided to have direct meetings with the citizens. Why did you choose such campaign?

Ivanov: Because I have a clear conscience to appear before anybody. Our fellow citizens have chosen me to represent them. To be their voice wherever I go. I feel strong obligation to inform them about my ongoing activities and results personally. Media addresses are necessary; to me it is more important to talk face to face with the common citizens. Personal contact is irreplaceable. It is my choice.

As I am obliged to convey the Macedonian message around the world capitals, so I am obliged to hear the voice of my fellow citizens.

What is your comment on DUI’s accusations that Albanians do not see appropriate representative of themselves in you?

Ivanov: For 5 years now I have not heard any criticism from DUI to my work and my dedication in building coexistence. I have attended every significant holiday of the Albanian community in the Republic of Macedonia. I have met Macedonian Albanians from the diaspora. And I have been making any differences. I have been and I am a President to all citizens, regardless of their ethnicity or religion. I led the religious dialogues, sponsored many events significant to our coexistence, the 10th anniversary of the Ohrid Framework Agreement, youth interaction projects from sports, culture, education. I am led by the idea for integration without assimilation. I must emphasize I treat all communities in Macedonia the same way – Turks, Roma, Vlachs, Serbs, Bosniacs. My relationship to the Albanian community in the Republic of Macedonia has reflected in my foreign policy, as well. We initiated quadrilateral cooperation with the Albanian President Bamir Topi,  and the Montenegrin President, Filip Vujanovikj, in order to assist the integration of our neighbor Kosovo in the regional initiatives. Contrary to the current stand of DUI’s leadership, I had received a letter from Mr. Ahmeti to congratulate us on the leadership. I will only quote a part of it: “I congratulate you on the leadership capacities you confirmed by the messages you have sent to the ancient Prizren, guaranteeing you the values, benefits and positive sides to these meeting  more and more confirm you are a true statesmen, visionaries, who trace the one-way road to cooperation, integration and European perspective for our people and countries”.

What is actually behind DUI’s attitude?

Ivanov: Personally, identical to the public, I was confused by their attitude, their request. I was probably used just as an occasion, while we revealed the right reason in the past days. Behind that idea is the request for thorough constitutional amendments in the President election process, which will lead to a change in the overall political system in the country.