North Macedonia coalition blocks no-confidence vote

North Macedonia coalition blocks no-confidence vote

The opposition in North Macedonia on Thursday failed to muster the quorum needed for a no-confidence vote in the coalition government after a lawmaker with a small ethnic Albanian party said he changed his mind and would not attend the session in parliament.

With one vote shy of the of 61 needed in the 120-seat House, the opposition on Thursday afternoon could not carry through its bid to topple the Social Democrat-led government after prime minister Zoran Zaev signaled his intention to resign on October 30 following his party’s defeat in local elections.

Zaev put his resignation on hold on Tuesday after the right-wing VMRO-DPMNE opposition filed its no-confidence motion, with the signatures of 61 MPs supporting the initiative.

Just moments before Thursday’s motion, however, MP Kastriot Rexhepi from the small ethnic Albanian Besa party announced his intention to skip the vote.

“For the good of processes and amid strong signals from our strategic partners, the US and the EU countries, which I received from high-ranking diplomatic representatives, I decided not to attend the session… the country, at this important period, does not need a political crisis, turbulence and being plunged into uncharted waters,” Balkan Insight quoted Rexhepi as saying in a post on Facebook.

Rexhepi’s move came just a week after he dropped out of the coalition to join the opposition in the no-confidence motion.

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