Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization – Democratic Party for Macedonian National Unity
||It has been suggested that Youth Force Union of the VMRO – DPMNE be merged into this article. (Discuss) Proposed since April 2014.|
|Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization – Democratic Party for Macedonian National Unity
Bнатрешна македонска револуционерна организација – Демократска партија за македонско национално единство
June 17, 1990 (Democratic Party for Macedonian National Unity)
|Youth wing||Youth Force Union|
|Political position||Centre-right to
|International affiliation||International Democrat Union|
|European affiliation||European People's Party (observer)|
|Colours||Red, Black, Gold|
|Politics of the Republic of Macedonia
The Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization – Democratic Party for Macedonian National Unity (Macedonian: Внатрешна македонска револуционерна организација – Демократска партија за македонско национално единство, Vnatrešna makedonska revolucionerna organizacija – Demokratska partija za makedonsko nacionalno edinstvo), simplified as VMRO - DPMNE, is the largest and leading party in the Republic of Macedonia, and one of the two major parties, the other being the Social Democratic Union of Macedonia. The party has proclaimed itself christian democratic but it has been described as nationalist. The party in the beginning under the leadership of Ljubcho Georgievski was pro-Macedonian independence from Socialist Yugoslavia. The party has been leading a pro-European and pro-NATO policy in recent years, but does not agree to the country's name changing. VMRO is mainly ethnically based to ethnic Macedonians with some exceptions, claiming that "the party's goals and objectives express the tradition of the Macedonian people on whose political struggle and concepts it is based."[third-party source needed]  But it has joined coalition with many ethnic minority parties.
The first section of the acronym ('VMRO') forming the party's name derives from the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization, a rebel movement formed in 1893. After undergoing various transformations, the original organization was suppressed in the 1930s, at which time the territory of the current Republic of Macedonia was part of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. The VMRO–DPMNE claims ideological descent from the old VMRO.
Following the death of Josip Broz Tito in 1980, SFR Yugoslavia began to disintegrate and democratic politics were revived in Macedonia. Many exiles returned to the newly independent Republic of Macedonia from abroad, and a new generation of young Macedonian intellectuals rediscovered the history of Macedonian nationalism. In these circumstances it was not surprising that the name of the famed Macedonian rebels was revived. Under the name VMRO–DPMNE, the party was founded on June 17, 1990 in Skopje.
Rise to power
After the first multi-party elections in 1990, VMRO–DPMNE became the strongest party in the Parliament. It did not form a government because it did not achieve a majority of seats; this forced it to form a coalition with an ethnic Albanian party, but it refused to do so. The party boycotted the second round of the 1994 elections claiming fraud in the first round. After winning the 1998 election, VMRO–DPMNE surprised many people when finally forming a coalition government with an ethnic Albanian party, the Democratic Party of Albanians. After their victory in the elections, they formed a new government with Ljubco Georgievski as Prime Minister. In 1999, VMRO–DPMNE's candidate Boris Trajkovski was elected President, completing VMRO–DPMNE's takeover. Once in office, Trajkovski adopted a more moderate policy than expected.
In 2002 VMRO–DPMNE's government was defeated at the legislative elections. In an alliance with the Liberal Party of Macedonia, VMRO–DPMNE won 28 out of 120 seats. In 2004 Trajkovski died in a plane crash and Branko Crvenkovski was elected President, defeating the VMRO–DPMNE's candidate Saško Kedev.
The party became the largest party in Parliament again after a net gain of over a dozen seats in the July 5, 2006 parliamentary elections. With 44 of 120 seats, the party formed a government in coalition with the Democratic Party of Albanians.
On May 15, 2007, the party became an observer-member of the European People's Party (EPP).
On 1 June 2008, following the dismissal of the Macedonian Parliament on April 12, early parliamentary elections were held. The elections were followed by series of violent incidents in the north-western parts of Macedonia by the Albanian minority, which has a national majority in those parts of Macedonia, while in the other parts of the country, the elections were followed in peaceful, fair and democratic atmosphere. The results were victorious for VMRO–DPMNE and for its leader and prime minister of the Republic of Macedonia, Nikola Gruevski. In the 120 seats Parliament, VMRO–DPMNE won 63 seats, enough to form its own government, and by that, the party won 4 more years of dominance in the Macedonian Parliament (mandate period 2008-2012) and government control. The acting President of the Republic of Macedonia (mandate period 2004-2009), Branko Crvenkovski, acknowledged the victory of VMRO–DPMNE on 1 June 2008 parliamentary elections, and after the Parliament constituted itself on the 21st of June, 2008, the President Branko Crvenkovski on the 23rd of June, 2008 gave the VMRO–DPMNE's leader and current and future prime minister Nikola Gruevski the mandate to form the new Government of the Republic of Macedonia (mandate period 2008-2012).
In 2009, the party had another two major successes. While the VMRO–DPMNE-led coalition "For a better Macedonia" won in 56 out of 84 municipalities, the party's proposed presidential candidate Gjorge Ivanov also won the presidential election.
VMRO–DPMNE has been criticised for its "Antiquisation" policy (known locally as "Antikvizacija"), in which the country seeks to claim ancient Macedonian figures like Alexander the Great and Philip II of Macedon for itself and denying their Greek heritage. The policy has been pursued since the coming to power in 2006, and especially since Macedonia's non-invitation to NATO in 2008, as a way of putting pressure on Greece as well as in an attempt to construct a new identity on the basis of a presumed link to the world of antiquity. Antiquisation policy is facing criticism by academics as it demonstrates feebleness of archaeology and of other historical disciplines in public discourse, as well as a danger of marginalization. The policy has also attracted criticism domestically, by ethnic Macedonians within the country, who see it as dangerously dividing the country between those who identify with classical antiquity and those who identify with the country's Slavic culture. Ethnic Albanians in the Republic of Macedonia see it as an attempt to marginalize them and exclude them from the national narrative. The policy, which also claims as ethnic Macedonians figures considered national heroes in Bulgaria, such as Dame Gruev and Gotse Delchev, has drawn criticism from Bulgaria and is regarded to have a negative impact on the international position of the country. Foreign diplomats have warned that the policy has reduced international sympathy for the Republic of Macedonia in the naming dispute with Greece. SDSM, the main opposition party, is opposed to the project and has alleged that the monuments in the project could have cost six to ten times less than what the government paid, which may already have exceeded 500 million Euro.
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