UMD Disappointed with New Redistricting Law in Albanian Parliament

The United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD), as one of the leading voices for Macedonians worldwide, expresses its profound disappointment with the new redistricting law recently passed in the Albanian Parliament that would eliminate the municipalities of Golo Brdo and Gora, which are predominantly populated by ethnic Macedonians of Muslim faith.

“We strongly urge the EU, Council of Europe, OSCE and the United States to withdraw their support of the new redistricting law in Albania,” said UMD Chairman Stojan Nikolov.

The new law on territorial division, which would bring the number of municipalities down from 373 to 61, was recently adopted with 88 votes “for” in Albania’s Parliament. This redistricting has caused massive uproar despite the strong support the law received from the EU, Council of Europe, OSCE and the United States. The Albanian opposition has strongly opposed the new territorial divisions because “it enhances the gap between the rich south and the poor north,” and is detrimental to the country’s north.

UMD supports the call of the Macedonians in Golo Brdo and Gora, Albania, who are unhappy with the new law on administrative-territorial division, for a referendum to be held in order to repeal the law and allow the local population to decide whether it accepts the new territorial division or not before it becomes a statute.

Furthermore, UMD applauds Mr. Vasil Sterjovski of the Macedonian Alliance for European Integration, who spoke at UMD’s 4th Global Conference in 2013, in his efforts to challenge the validity of the law by petitioning the Constitutional Court of Albania to review it as well as the efforts of all other concerned individuals and organizations that support the right of the Macedonian minority in Albania to repeal this law.