When we search for an adequate explanation about politics, there are various definitions from different historical periods. Up to the 19th century, the philosophers defined it as a skill for governance, which was related to warfare, conquest and superiority of nations. The modern definition of politics started in the 20th century, and it was directed towards the institutional governance and maintenance of law and order in the state. The different types of political regimes and ideologies influenced the understanding and definition of politics and political processes. Throughout the history of social development, a division of ideals and political persuasion appears. Organized groups of like-minded people about the political processes, governance and understanding of society are institutionalized in political parties.
According to Schreyer и Schwarzmeier parties’ development depends on the structure of the membership in the electoral districts, social structure, organizational structure, goals of the party, ideologies, access to the political system and access to governance. This division in the democratic system of governance, as the most effective way of ruling, improves parties’ profiles so that they would compete for the citizens’ trust. Political parties use different methods in order to gain voters’ trust and to represent their interests.
According to the definition every attempt to organize people themselves through same ideology and to achieve certain goals should be considered as a social movement. This means that any attempt on formal or informal group of Roma through particular idea and achieving certain interests is considered as a movement. It is important to note that every social movement has its own life cycle: it is created, achieve success or failure and eventually turns into something else, or cease to exist.
It is assumed that more serious attempts of creating Roma movement started in the early 90's with the self-organizing of Romani activists by the formation of NGOs. The attempts of creating the Roma Union and initial ideas of self-definition are still present and as such they are taken into consideration this analysis. The beginnings of the Roma movement viewed through a historical perspective can be considered from 1971 by keeping the first Roma Congress and the creation of the Roma Union. Beginnings of the so called "Roma movement" cause a significant change in the behavior towards Roma in the society. It can be freely say that before coping with the political and social reality of the Roma was defined "outside" by various systems of power and the majority population.
By introducing the pluralism in the Republic of Macedonia, Roma gained the right to take part and to contribute for democratic development in the political and legal system of the state. The practice of the democratic culture among the Roma community does not significantly differ from the overall democratic and political environment in the country. Every democratic country is undergoing a process of implementation of conditions such as rule of law, high level of civil and political liberties, freedom of expression, freedom of the press and freedom to form and join organizations. After 20 years of practicing pluralism in the country, the development of the political culture of Roma is presented in two periods – before the Ohrid Framework Agreement and after the Ohrid Framework Agreement. According to the results and the behavior of Roma political parties, it is evident that the parties failed optimally to utilize the given opportunities initiated by the principles of the Ohrid Framework Agreement.
The modifications of the Constitution in 2001 preloaded new principles with the Framework Agreement, which was a balance in the redefinition of the constituent elements of the state. This included major communities and the Roma community as well. This act represents an opportunity for the Roma political élite and at the same time commitment to support the multi-ethnic character of the state. In the period from 1990 to 1998, the Roma community in Macedonia formed three political parties represented by one Member of Parliament and lack of institutional representation. While in the period from 2002 to 2006 there were five more parties registered. This process was counterproductive for the Roma community due to the division of the Roma electorate instead of consolidation derived from the new constitutional changes. The Roma political parties entered the process of fragmentation of the electorate that further reduced the value and impact of the voice of the Roma community.
The purpose of this paper is to analyze the political competition of Roma political parties in the period from 1991 to 2013 by using the behavioral theory by Kaare Strom. Furthermore, it explains how Roma political parties emerged and what the benefits of the Ohrid Framework Agreement were. The concluding remarks are presented at the very end of this paper.