My perception: Roma politics and chess

Honestly, I am not an expert on chess and its philosophy, but according to my "modest" knowledge of this ancient game, Roma politics reminds me exactly of this game - chess.

It's fair game. One side is black, the other white. In politics it is a little different. There you are already entering the "gray" zone. Chess is not politics, but that does not mean that its strategy cannot or should not be considered in politics.

When a professional plays chess, he or she mainly focuses on what the opponent is thinking. They do it because of one simple fact. Any move, at a given moment, can determine advantages or disadvantages at a later stage. However you take it, chess is played with morality, and in politics, as you know, nothing is moral or immoral.

But what is very immoral, impermissible and unjustifiable in politics is playing for personal gain and not in the interest of the people.

Such a chess party is mostly used by the Roma political bloc. Only in the interest of his immediate surroundings and nothing further. That's why the results are miserable. The Roma political block in the political chess game will mostly serve as cannon fodder - or a pawn.

Most often sacrificed for other people's interests, so that the king and queen remain - untouchable.

Meanwhile, while the world is constantly changing, it is slowly becoming clear to us that we, the Roma, need to change as well. Let's say stop to this status quo, and be ready to imagine the future. We need to know where we are going. We need much more than a useful strategy to decide what we need.

In chess, the elements of a good strategy are making bold moves, taking chances, but also being flexible in playing your role. This is not, perhaps, a surefire formula for success, but these are some basic ideas that are easily overlooked.

Only such a calculation will lead us forward. Because, you know, nobody ever won a game of chess by giving up. Chess is, in fact, also a battle against mistakes.

Ramush Muarem - Cirko

Exclusive interview with Fatima Osmanovska - President of the newly formed "Roma Union": "The party was formed precisely because of the political impotence we currently have as a Roma community."

Roma Times: What is the main motive to form the "Roma Union"?

Fatima Osmanovska: As the very name of the party suggests, the political party Union of Roma will act as a political body that brings together, in this particular case it will bring together the ideology of every Romani/Roma woman which is in the direction of the full enjoyment of the rights of the Roma community. and additionally the acquisition of new rights that will affect a better quality of life, in all spheres.

In order to realize this ideology, which is shared by a large number of Roma, regardless of the political background or non-political action of each of us individually, the need for organized, political action was imposed, which actually resulted in the initiative to form the party.

Personally, I am sure that we are ripe as a community to be united in one "union" that will finally bring the changes that we all individually and collectively expect, and we are also aware that we have to bring the expected changes ourselves.

RT: You are the first Roma woman - President of a Roma political party in the Republic of Macedonia. What is the main motive?

FO: I believe and am a supporter of what I believe is a confirmed thesis that an individual's gender is not a factor that will determine success in any profession or occupation, but experience, knowledge, motivation, social and leadership skills. Being the first female Roma president of a political party will not make the party more successful or less successful. My vision, the vision of my team, my abilities to unify, negotiate, advocate and speak publicly on behalf of my supporters will be decisive for the success of the community first and foremost, the party and my personal success.

That's where I find my motivation for the leadership of the Roma Union. I believe in myself, I believe in the trust I have from the community and I believe in the positive results that I can bring and contribute not only to my community, but to the entire Macedonian society.

RT: Does the Roma Union plan to have its own branches and from which cities (regions)?

FO: Of course we will. Branches in every city will provide an opportunity for every RSM citizen to be involved in the party's ideological activities, from every city, village, settlement, and that is why I believe that branches are an essential part of the political activity of the Union of Roma.

How, for example, would you represent the interests of citizens from any municipality sitting in an office in Skopje? Certainly through the action of the branches that will be our link with the community, and at the same time they will be representatives of the political party at the local level, because we are aware of the power of changes that can be made at the local level, independent of the action at the national level.

RT: Who is your party planning to form a coalition with?

F.O.: The mere establishment of a political party does not necessarily mean that it should and will form a coalition with another party. I don't believe in the thesis of small and big parties and that the small ones should automatically "stick" to the big ones in order to get a piece of the "political cake". But at the same time, I believe in a partnership based on the recognition of mutual cooperation that will bring changes on both sides, and in this direction we will still analyze and determine with whom we would potentially form a coalition according to the ideological determinations of our party and other parties.

RT: How do you evaluate the current political power of the Roma community?

FO: The party was formed precisely because of the political powerlessness that we currently have as a Roma community, as opposed to the political potential that we have as individuals and as a team.

RT: Who will be the focus of action of the Roma Union?

F.O.: The focus will still be refined together with the citizens. I announced that no issue will be represented if it is not derived from conversations and analyzes with the citizens.

But the general goal of the Union of Roma will be advocacy of the principle of equality, fairness, bringing legal legislation that will be in line with the interests of the Roma community, bringing local policies that will be inclusive for the Roma community and the entry of the Roma community from RSM in the European Union as an equal community in terms of economic and social status, enjoying all the same rights as the majority community.

Three years since the death of Amdi Bajram, the only Roma MP with the longest parliamentary term from 1994 to 2020

Today, October 24, marks 3 years since the death of Amdi Bajram, who as a Roma MP in the Parliament of Macedonia had exactly 11 mandates from 1994 to 2020.

He was born in Skopje in 1956. Amdi Bajram became a member of the Parliament of the Republic of Macedonia in 1994 as a member of the Party for the Complete Emancipation of the Roma (PCER), but until the end of the mandate he worked as an independent member of parliament. In 1996, he founded SRM and was appointed its president. Except for the first term, in the following terms (1998 - 2002) (2002 - 2006) (2006 - 2008) (2008 - 2011) (2011 - 2014) (2014 - 2016) and (2016 - 2020) he was a deputy from the ranks of Soyuzit. The Roma from Macedonia, where he was president until his death. He died at the age of 64 as a result of heart problems. Gabriel Bayram has been appointed as his successor as President of SRM

Interview with Selvia Mustafi, part of the AVAJA core team: "Avaja is in an evolutionary phase in which changes are taking place in many aspects, which is an absolutely healthy process."

Roma Times: Avaja has recently added an addition - Roma for Democracy? How much did this addition affect the transition from the previous management to this current one?

Selvia Mustafi: The Roma Foundation for Democracy is the new entity and source of new hope in order to strengthen the democratic participation of the Roma in society, and Avaya is the initiative that is a constituent part of the foundation. One of the goals of the foundation will be to support individuals, informal groups, movements as well as media portals that promote the contribution of the Roma in the development of democracy.

The establishment of the foundation did not affect the change of the previous leadership, on the contrary, it opened up space for a broader perspective and joint work through the inclusion of people from other regions of the country that have great potential in strengthening the power of the community.

R.T.: Who is now in the management of Avaja, and are there any in the management from the previous composition?

SM: Avaja is in an evolutionary phase in which changes are taking place in many aspects, which is an absolutely healthy process. In the management we have people from the previous composition, but also reinforcement with activists who during these 4 years had the opportunity to lead at the local level and grow in the whole process to now reach the management level.

What is crucial in the whole process of working is our will to work regardless of who leads, because the goal at the end of the day is the same, but only the focus is different. On the one hand, we have the rapid progress in the Roma neighborhoods in many municipalities, and from Dr. political organization and influence.

RT: What is the current focus of Avaja's activities?

SM: As before, Avaja will focus on 3 main elements, namely:

political education, political participation as well as representation.

In the past, we had the opportunity to experience all kinds of manipulations, especially when it comes to elections. From all of this, the main lesson is that we need strengthening of the voice of the community, political education (how to vote correctly), participation (why it is important for everyone to participate and vote) as well as representation - for greater influence in the creation of state policies.

RT: What is the main motive for Avaja to grow into a Roma political movement?

SM: I think it is high time to realize that we must be politically strongly organized and be part of higher political processes and involved in positions that will make changes for our community.

The motive is simple, we do not have our own home country and (military) force to demonstrate such strength, economically we are the poorest community in Europe, but what we can do is organize ourselves politically and act by building power in the community. Thanks to our forefathers and leaders like Faik Abdi, we are enabled not only to think about politics, but to actively engage in it.

Avaya has a generation of young leaders with the capacity to imagine a better future through common ideas and the will to improve the status of the Roma community.

FaLang translation system by Faboba

Од 5 Ноември 2022 достапен документарниот филм на СП БТР „Небо, Точак, Земја„ на Max TV и Max TV GO со пребарување –Видеотека


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