Macedonian parliament expected to vote in new government on May 30

Macedonian parliament expected to vote in new government on May 30
By bne IntelliNews May 29, 2017

The Macedonian parliament is due to vote on the new Social Democrat-led government on May 30, after prime minister-designate Zaran Zaev submitted the list of ministers and the draft programme to the assembly late on May 28.

The formation of the new government will put an end to a decade-long rule of the conservative VMRO-DPMNE and the political vacuum since December 11 snap election. 

The government will have to be voted in by at least 61 MPs. The three parties making up the new government will have a slim majority of 62 MPs.

Zaev, the leader of the Social Democratic Union of Macedonia (SDSM) which was the runner-up in the December snap election, was granted a mandate by President Gjorge Ivanov on May 17 after months of procrastination. VMRO-DPMNE will go into opposition, even though it narrowly won election (51 seats) but failed to form a government. The SDSM gained 49 seats.

The new reformist government will have 15 portfolio ministers and several ministers without portfolio. 

The session on May 30 was scheduled by parliament speaker Talat Xhaferi and will start at 11.00am local time, according to the parliament. The session should end by midnight on May 31.

Zaev is forming the government with two ethnic Albanian parties, the Democratic Union for Integration (DUI) with 10 MPs and the Alliance for Albanians (three MPs). The three ruling parties will have a total of 62 seats in the 120-seat parliament. 

Key appointments in the new cabinet will be: defence minister - Radmila Sekerinska, interior minister - Oliver Spasovski, foreign minister - Nikola Dimitrov and finance minister - Dragan Tevdovski, according to SDSM statement. 

Other appointments will include education minister - Renata Deskoska,  minister for labour and social affairs - Mila Carovska, agriculture minister - Ljupco Nikolovski, transport minister - Goran Sugareski, minister of culture - Robert Alagjozovski and minister for information society and administration - Damjan Mancevski. 

Koco Angjusev was appointed vice prime minister for economic affairs.

The DUI will have three ministers; minister of economy - Kreshnik Bekteshi, minister of justice - Bulent Salihu and minister of ecology - Sadula Duraku, news agency MIA reported on May 29.

Hazbi Lika will be vice prime minister for the implementation of the Ohrid Agreement, which ended the armed conflict between ethnic Macedonians and Albanians, while Bujar Osmani was nominated as vice prime minister for EU integration. Both nominees are from the DUI.

Arben Taravari will be health minister and Suhejl Fazliu minister for local self government; the two were nominated by the Alliance for Albanians.

Ministers without portfolio are: Robert Popovski, Edmond Ademi, Adnan Kјahil, Samka Ibraimovski, Zorica Apostolovska, Zoran Sapuric and Ramiz Merko (DUI).

The Democratic Party of Albanians (DPA), with two MPs, did not participate in the process of forming a new government, while Besa, which did take part in the talks, decided not to participate in the government. 

SDSM has also sent the list of ministerial candidates to the Special Prosecution Office (SPO) to check if any of them under investigation. The SPO was set up in 2015 to probe high-level crime following the wiretapping scandal which led to the snap election.

So far investigations revealed involvement of officials from the previous VMRO-DPMNE-led government, including ex-PM Nikola Gruevski.

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