North Macedonia’s Social Democrats, SDSM, has proposed ministerial candidates for the new government and cut their number from 26 to 19, the party said late on August 19.
The names were announced after the party’s central committee endorsed the coalition agreement with the ethnic Albanian party Democratic Union for Integration (DUI) which was reached on August 18 after the July 15 snap election.
The SDSM coalition with ethnic Albanian party Besa won a narrow lead in the election with only two more seats than the opposition VMRO-DPMNE (46 vs 44). The DUI has 15 seats. With 62 lawmakers, the new coalition government will have a slim majority in the parliament and will include the Democratic Party of Albanians (DPA), which has one seat in the assembly.
The SDSM will have eight ministers and three vice prime minister. Among the key portfolios, Oliver Spasovski will lead the interior ministry, Radmila Sekerinska will remain defence minister and Bojan Maricic will be the new justice minister.
Venko Filipce will remain health minister, while Mila Carovska will be the new education minister. Outgoing foreign minister Nikola Dimitrov will become vice prime minister for European affairs.
The SDSM’s partners from the ‘We Can’ coalition that ran in the July 15 election, Besa and the LDP, each got one ministerial seat, but the names of their ministers are not known yet.
Previously the DUI said that the first vice prime minister and minister for the political system will come from its ranks and proposed Artan Grubi for the position. The DUI will get five ministerial seats, including three key ones — foreign affairs that will go to Bujar Osmani, finance – Fatmir Besimi and economy — Kreshnik Bekteshi.
“SDSM and DUI are already harmonising the election platforms in a joint four-year government programme. The main focus will be put on strengthening the economic standard, increasing salaries and pensions, creating new jobs and attracting new foreign investment as well as direct support to the domestic economy,” PM designate Zoran Zaev said after the central committee meeting.
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