North Macedonia's SDSM leader Kovacevski resigns after crushing election defeat

North Macedonia's SDSM leader Kovacevski resigns after crushing election defeat
Former prime minister Dimitar Kovacevski's party took just 18 seats in the new parliament. /
By Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje May 23, 2024

The president of North Macedonia's Social Democratic Union of Macedonia (SDSM), Dimitar Kovacevski, officially filed his resignation as party leader during a meeting of the party's executive board on May 22.

The resignation follows the party's defeat in both the parliamentary and presidential elections on May 8.

According to the election commission, conservative VMRO-DPMNE secured 58 mandates in the 120-seat assembly. However, VMRO-DPMNE's leader later asserted that it can secure a majority of 61 MPs in the parliament with the support of smaller parties. Meanwhile, the SDSM, experiencing its most significant electoral setback to date, only secured 18 mandates.

In his resignation letter, Kovacevski reiterated his decision to step down and placed the responsibility for the party's electoral setback on the party leadership, and appointed officials. He also pointed fingers at former party officials for their role in the defeat, according to the party's statement.

"The SDSM suffered a defeat in the parliamentary and presidential elections, dealing a heavy blow not only from citizens and sympathisers, but also from some current members of the party, as well as from those organised within another political entity," Kovacevski stated in his resignation letter.

Kovacevski was referring to Znam, a political party headed by Maksim Dimitrievski, a former member of SDSM, which won six seats in the parliament.

Furthermore, Kovacevski urged all party bodies to take necessary steps to convene an SDSM congress for a thorough analysis of the election results and to facilitate internal party elections, in compliance with the party's statutes.