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.

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