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Talat Xhaferi (Macedonian: Талат Џафери; born 15 April 1962) is a Macedonian politician and Speaker of the Parliament of Macedonia. He was also the former Minister of Defense.

Talat Xhaferi
New VTNG adjutant general moves Macedonia partnership forward 130912-Z-DH905-009 (cropped).jpg
Speaker of the Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia
Assumed office
27 April 2017
Prime MinisterEmil Dimitriev (acting)
Zoran Zaev
Preceded byTrajko Veljanovski
Minister of Defense
In office
18 February 2013 – 19 June 2014
Preceded byFatmir Besimi
Succeeded byZoran Jolevski
Personal details
Born
Talat Xhaferi

(1962-04-15) 15 April 1962 (age 57)
Forino, Gostivar, Yugoslavia
NationalityMacedonian
Political partyDemocratic Union for Integration
Alma materBelgrade Military Academy
OccupationPolitician
Inauguration of Talat Xhaferi as Speaker of the Assembly of Macedonia

Contents

Military careerEdit

Xhaferi, an ethnic Albanian, was born on 15 April 1962 in the village of Forino near Gostivar, SR Macedonia, SFR Yugoslavia. He attended primary school in the nearby village of Čegrane and continued secondary education at the Belgrade Military High School. He studied at the Military Academy of the Land Army Infantry of the Yugoslav People's Army (JNA) in Belgrade and Sarajevo and specialised in command and staff duties at the Military Academy "General Mihailo Apostolski" in Skopje. From 1985 to 1991 he was a JNA officer and from 1992 to 2001 an officer of the Army of the Republic of Macedonia.[1]

During the 2001 insurgency, in which ethnic Albanian militants attacked security forces, Xhaferi was at first a senior officer in the ARM, commanding troops in the Tetovo barracks. On April 28, the day of the Vejce massacre, he was on duty as commander at the barracks.[2] Several days later he deserted and joined the National Liberation Army (NLA), the Albanian rebel group, and became its commander of the 116th Brigade with the nickname of "commander Forino", from his birthplace.[3] He was later amnestied, following the Ohrid agreement.[1]

Political careerEdit

Xhaferi was first elected to the Macedonian parliament in 2002 for the DUI party.[citation needed] From 2004 to 2006 Xhaferi was a Deputy Minister of Defence.[4] From 2008 to 2013 Xhaferi was a Macedonian MP for the DUI party, allied with the conservative VMRO-DPMNE party.

In 2012 Xhaferi became known for his marathon speeches used as a filibuster tactic to blocking the adoption of a law on veterans that would have granted benefits to ethnic Macedonian war veterans, but leaving out former UCK fighters. He blocked the draft at commission level by "reading poetry, citing foreign literature and reports on Macedonia, mumbling or simply remaining silent, waiting for the time to pass".[1]

In 2013 Xhaferi was nominated by DUI for Minister of Defense in the Cabinet of Nikola Gruevski, after the resignation of the DUI party member Fatmir Besimi. The appointment of Xhaferi triggered protests by both Macedonian[5][6] (in particular retired general Stojance Angelov of the pro-veteran Dignity opposition party[1]) and Albanian citizens.[7] Xhaferi stated that his goal was to make the armed forces “a symbol of coexistence, tolerance and respect for differences”.[1]

Speaker of the AssemblyEdit

In April 2017 Xhaferi was elected Speaker of the Macedonian parliament, supported by a coalition of Albanian-minority parties and the opposition social-democratic SDSM party, sparking riots in the parliament building.[8] The VMRO-DPMNE party labeled this move as a coup.[9] Subsequently, demonstrators broke into the parliament building, beating journalists and MPs, and had to be cleared by the police.[8][10]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e Dimovski, Sase (22 February 2013). "Talat Xhaferi: Macedonia's Controversial Defence Chief". Balkan Insight (BIRN). Archived from the original on 1 June 2017.
  2. ^ "Ангелов: Талат Џафери да каже зошто по масакрот кај Вејце, дезертирал од АРМ" [Angelov: Talat Xhaferi explains why after the massacre of Vejce, he left ARM] (in Macedonian). Инфо ( Здружение на граѓани за одбрана на слободата на говорот и на јавното изразување [Citizens' Association for the Defense of Freedom of Speech and Public Expression]). 28 April 2013. Archived from the original on 1 June 2013.
  3. ^ "Груевски го предложи Командант Форина од УЧК за прв човек на македонската одбрана" [Gruevski proposed Commandant Forrina from UCK as the head of Macedonian defense] (in Macedonian). Кирилица. 18 February 2013. Archived from the original on 21 February 2013.
  4. ^ Balkan Insight (in Serbian)
  5. ^ Deutsche Welle (in Macedonian)
  6. ^ koha.net (in Albanian)
  7. ^ AP (in English)
  8. ^ a b Hopkins, Valerie (28 April 2017). "What Happened in Macedonia, and Why". The Atlantic. Archived from the original on 28 April 2017.
  9. ^ "V makedonski parlament vdrli protestniki, poslanci vzklikali: To je puč!" [Demonstrators protest in the Macedonian Parliament, outcry: It's a coup!] (in Slovenian). 24ur.com. Archived from the original on 9 September 2017.
  10. ^ Testorides, Konstantin (27 April 2017). "Protesters attack Macedonian lawmakers over leadership vote, dozens injured". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on 29 April 2017.