Former Prime Minister Zoran Zaev has received a mandate to form the next government in North Macedonia following the pro-western ‘Можеме!’ (‘We Can!’) alliance’s narrow win in the snap parliamentary elections on 15 July.
The ‘Можеме!’ (‘We Can!’) alliance lead by the Social Democrats won 46 seats in the 120-seat parliament, just two more than VMRO DPMNE which won 44, and have concluded a new coalition agreement with ethnic Albanian party DUI to form a majority.
Zoran Zaev, who served as the country’s Prime Minister from May 2017 until January 2020, will resume the role but under the terms of the coalition agreement an Albanian Prime Minister will be appointed 100 days before the next general elections. The new cabinet will now have 19 ministries instead of the previous 26.
ALDE Party member party Liberalno-demokratska Partija (LDP), who participated in the election as part of the We Can coalition, will remain in government with leader Goran Milevski continuing as Minister of Local Self-Government. LDP members Bobi Mojsoski and EWA Alumna Monika Zajkova won election in the vote and have taken their seats in the new parliament.
Upon accepting the mandate, Mr Zaev said the new cabinet’s priorities will be long-term stability, the economy, the fight against crime and corruption. “I will lead a government that will not ... veer away from the road leading to membership of the European Union after obtaining membership of NATO,” he added.
ALDE Party President Hans van Baalen welcomed the news, tweeting:
Full support for #NorthMacedonia gov coalition in which LDP’s Goran Milevski will serve as Minister for Local Self Government and run liberal inspired reform agenda. Full support for start of EU negotiations. North Macedonia shows democratic change through ballot box is possible! https://t.co/xzLj2rNquE— Hans van Baalen (@hansvanbaalen) August 20, 2020
ALDE Party Vice President Ilhan Kyuchyuk MEP, added:
Very good news to see that @Zoran_Zaev, leader of @SDSMakedonija and @AliAhmeti, leader of DUI have reached an agreement on the new coalition government in #NorthMacedonia🇲🇰. I look forward to working with the new government in my capacity of @Europarl_EN standing rapporteur. pic.twitter.com/YoXcSHMbvX— Ilhan Kyuchyuk (@ilhankyuchyuk) August 18, 2020
Mr Zaev has until 2 September to propose his new cabinet’s platform to parliament for approval. Parliament will have additional 15 days to discuss it and vote.