Macedonia’s four major political parties have failed to agree on the further steps in the implementation of the July agreement that resolved the political crisis in the country. The talks were attended by Johannes Hahn, EU commissioner in charge of European neighbourhood policy and enlargement negotiations, who said he is disappointed with the lack of progress, but is still optimistic.
Macedonia is set to hold early elections on April 24, 2016. They will be organised by a new government that will not be led by the current prime minister, Nikola Gruevski, a key demand by the opposition.
The ruling VMRO-DPMNE, opposition SDSM, ethnic Albanian ruling partner DUI and ethnic Albanian opposition DPA reportedly did make some progress on disputed issues, with SDSM leader Zoran Zaev commenting that there is still time to meet the deadlines.
By October 20 SDSM should nominate new ministers of the interior and labour, whereas VMRO-DPMNE should nominate deputy ministers with veto rights on election-related matters at the two ministries.
SDSM should also nominate deputy ministers with veto rights in the ministries of finance, agriculture, and information society and administration. These new ministers and deputy ministers are set to keep their positions in the government that will take office on January 15.
The other key dispute is regarding the formation of the team of the special prosecutor Katica Janeva.
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