Macedonian political parties reach breakthrough in implementation of July agreement

By bne IntelliNews November 6, 2015

Macedonia's four largest political parties achieved significant progress in the implementation of the July agreement that resolved the political crisis in the country.

The breakthrough included agreement on new ministers of interior and labour, who come from the biggest opposition party SDSM, and will stay in office until the early elections scheduled for April 24, 2016. The agreement came well after an October 20 deadline, but also a few days ahead of the announcement of the European Commission’s new progress report on Macedonia, scheduled for November 10.

SDSM secretary general Oliver Spasovski will be interior minister, whereas SDSM vice-president Frosina Remenski will head the labour and social policy ministry. The deal also involved the appointment of three new deputy ministers, coming from SDSM.

After the end of the talks, SDSM leader Zoran Zaev said that these appointments are intended to guarantee free elections next April. PM Nikola Gruevski, also leader of the ruling party VMRO-DPMNE, commented that he expects another election victory. Ali Ahmeti, leader of the ethnic Albanian ruling coalition partner DUI welcomed the agreement. The opposition ethnic Albanian party DPA was the fourth participant in the talks.

The four parties also agreed on laws on the whistle-blowers and on the wiretapped materials. The parliament is expected to examine them on November 9. The media is the next major issue to be negotiated by the four parties.

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