Macedonian Social Democrat leader poised to form new government within 2 weeks

Macedonian Social Democrat leader poised to form new government within 2 weeks
By bne IntelliNews February 24, 2017

Social Democratic Union of Macedonia (SDSM) leader Zoran Zaev said on February 23 that he expects to form a new government in the next 10-15 days. 

The appointment of an SDSM-led government would end the decade-long rule of the conservative VMRO-DPMNE party in Macedonia. However, VMRO-DPMNE has claimed that the SDSM plans to violate the constitution, leading to speculation the party could launch protests or try to block the formation of a coalition by its rival. 

Zaev’s party was the runner-up in the December 11 general election, but VMRO-DPMNE, which narrowly won election, failed to strike a new coalition deal with its former ethnic Albanian partner, the Democratic Union for Integration (DUI). Now the SDSM is in talks with the DUI and trying to form a new government.

“I know that the [DUI] leadership decided to provide signatures for securing a majority in the parliament, which was a condition set by President Gjorge Ivanov,” Zaev said in the party’s statement.

After VMRO-DPMNE failed to form a government, Ivanov said on February 1 he would give the mandate only to a party or coalition that has secured a majority in the parliament. 

Zaev said it now remains to discuss details about the distribution of ministerial posts - implying that all major hurdles have been overcome. 

His statement came after the DUI announced that the new draft document on the use of Albanian language had been accepted by the party’s presidency following consultations with SDSM. The use of the Albanian language on the whole territory of Macedonia was one of the conditions for the three ethnic Albanian parties represented in the assembly to join the government.

DUI spokesman Bujar Osmani said on February 23 that there are still issues that need to be discussed, but that "an important stage of the process has been completed," according to broadcaster Alsat-M.

The DUI presidency is to hold a session on February 24, when party leader Ali Ahmeti will decide whether to officially support SDSM to form a new government.

Three other ethnic political parties will be represented in the parliament, of which two, Besa and the Alliance for Albanians, also insist on the Albanian language being used for official purposes across the country.

The SDSM, which gained 49 seats in the 120-parliament versus 51 for VMRO-DPMNE, will also need the support of other ethnic Albanian parties, as DUI gained only 10 seats.

DUI, Besa and the Alliance for Albanians adopted a joint platform on January 7 asking for more rights as a prerequisite for their participation in the new coalition government. Aside from making Albanian an official language at all level of governance, their demands include equal representation for ethnic Albanians in the Macedonian army, police, intelligence service, judiciary, public agencies and state-owned enterprises.

VMRO-DPMNE is against such a government and says new elections are the only way to exit the crisis.

The party said on February 23 that the SDSM plans to violate the constitution in its efforts to form the government with DUI, and that VMRO will not allow that.

According to some analysts this means that VMRO-DPMNE may try to sabotage the new government, if it is formed, or start protests.

The European Union officials recently called on Macedonian political leaders to form a stable government based on broad consensus on key reform priorities to enable the country to move forward towards EU integration.

Snap elections were aimed to help the country exit the crisis following wiretapping scandal in 2015, which revealed high-level crime, but they only deepened the political tensions. 

Related Articles

Macedonian president refuses to meet EU Commissioner Hahn

EU Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn’s attempt to resolve the political deadlock in Macedonia received a setback when President Gjorge Ivanov cancelled his planned meeting with the ... more

Macedonia fails to call local election due to political vacuum

The deadline for announcing local elections in Macedonia, due to take place this spring, expired on March 6 as there is no parliament speaker to call the vote. Macedonia is plunging deeper into ... more

EBRD says 2016 net profit was around €1bn

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) said it made a net profit of around €1bn in 2016, up by a quarter from the €802mn it made in ... more

Register here to continue reading this article and 2 more for free or purchase 12 months full website access including the bne Magazine for just $119/year.

Already a subscriber or registered - click here to recover access.

If you a IntelliNews Pro user - click here to login.

Thank you. Please complete your registration by confirming your email address.
A confirmation email has been sent to the email address you provided.

To continue viewing our content you need to complete the registration process.

Please look for an email that was sent to with the subject line "Confirmation bne IntelliNews access". This email will have instructions on how to complete registration process. Please check in your "Junk" folder in case this communication was misdirected in your email system.

Already a subscriber or registered - click here to recover access.

If you a IntelliNews Pro user - click here to login.

If you have any questions please contact us at sales@intellinews.com

Subscribe to bne IntelliNews website and magazine

Subscribe to bne IntelliNews website and monthly magazine, the leading source of business, economic and financial news and commentary in emerging markets.

Your subscription includes:
  • Full access to the bne content daily news and features on the website
  • Newsletters direct to your mailbox
  • Print and digital subscription to the monthly bne magazine
  • Digital subscription to the weekly bne newspaper

Already a subscriber or registered - click here to recover access.

If you a IntelliNews Pro user - click here to login.

bne IntelliNews
$119 per year

All prices are in US dollars net of applicable taxes.

If you have any questions please contact us at sales@intellinews.com

Register for free to read bne IntelliNews Magazine. You'll receive a free digital subscription.

Already a subscriber or registered - click here to recover access.

If you a IntelliNews Pro user - click here to login.

Thank you. Please complete your registration by confirming your email address.
A confirmation email has been sent to the email address you provided.

IntelliNews Pro offers daily news updates delivered to your inbox and in-depth data reports.
Get the emerging markets newswire that financial professionals trust.

"No day starts for my team without IntelliNews Pro" — UBS

Thank-you for requesting an IntelliNews Pro trial. Our team will be in contact with you shortly.

Dismiss