- Liberal International , maandag 14 maart 2016
In an overcrowded hall with around 1000 party delegates from across the country, Macedonia’s Liberal Democratic Party presented its programme ahead of anticipated early parliamentary elections. Warmly welcomed by the audience, LI President of Honour and ALDE Party President Hans van Baalen MEP said “My presence tonight together with other international representatives is a proof that Macedonia and LDP have the attention of the liberals worldwide.”
Reminding that this is his fourth visit to the country in the last 2 years, van Baalen echoed the support of the colleagues in Europe and across the world, adding: “Macedonia needs independent judicial bodies and free media.” He called for the full implantation of the political agreements from 2015 aimed at ending the dramatic political crisis, with a sharp message for the government populist conservatives: “I call on [the governing] VMRO-DPMNE to put an end to the pressures on the Special Prosecutor, and for anyone who acted against the law be hold accountable. "
LDP president Goran Milevski in his key address who spoke about the current political developments and the daily problems citizens face. He criticised heavily the government for “totally eroding the political system and the judiciary”. Milevski pointed out that “the brain-drain of best and brightest from the country continues” while the government does not stop spending money “on baroque monuments and sculptures while taking loans to pay salaries and pensions.” Reviving the functional liberal democracy, the end of corruption, respect of the Human Rights and individual liberties were the focus of his address. “The new government will invest in infrastructure and renewable energies”, said Milevski pointing out to a need for a sustainable economic growth.
Emil Kirjas, LI Secretary General who originally comes from LDP, was joined at the stage by Juliana Nikolova and women leaders from the party to send a joint message: “end the violence against the women, ratify the Istanbul Convention.” Kirjas reminded that “Liberal International is what the member parties make out of it”, and in that sense emphasised the efforts by LDP and liberals world-wide to ensure better gender equality. “What makes the liberals and LDP stand out from others is that both men and women together lead this fight for gender equality,” said Kirjas.
Present at the LDP convention were the Sub-regional Director of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation Daniel Kadik, the President of SLS Kosovo (LI full member) Slobodan Petrovic, the President of LPCG Montenegro (LI member) Andrija Popopvic, and representatives of sister parties and organisations from the region.