North Macedonia opposition leader wants to form new government

North Macedonia opposition leader wants to form new government

The leader of North Macedonia’s center-right opposition VMRO-DPMNE party says he has secured a majority in Parliament to submit a no confidence vote against the leftist cabinet, after a small ethnic Albanian party announced it has left the ruling coalition.

Hristijan Mickoski set Monday as the deadline for Prime Minister Zoran Zaev to submit his resignation to Parliament.

Mickoski said he has secured a majority with 61 seats in the 120-member chamber after the small ethnic Albanian “Besa” party with its three lawmakers left the ruling coalition. He said he will try to form a new cabinet or will request an early parliamentary election.

“I will try to form a new government and that will happen only if I am sure that it will be a government of serious credibility, a government with strong institutions that will guarantee stability, new energy. If this goal is not achieved … then the only option that remains are early parliamentary elections,”, Mickoski told reporters at a press conference in North Macedonia’s capital of Skopje.

Social Democrat leader Zaev announced his resignation as prime minister last weekend after his party lost municipal races in Skopje and other cities.

The 47-year-old Zaev, who is against having an early election, said he would remain in office for “a short time” while the political negotiations were in progress. He had started talks with the leaders of junior coalition partners in a bid to keep his 62-seat majority.

The pro-Western Social Democrat Union won a narrow victory last year, forming a government with a multi-party coalition.

The next parliamentary election is not officially due until 2024.


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