Zaev to return as North Macedonian prime minister

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Belgrade, Aug. 13, 2020 North Macedonian President Stevo Pendarovski on Thursday appointed Social Democratic leader Zoran Zaev to form the country’s next government.
Zaev’s Social Democratic Union (SDSM) won the most seats in elections on July 15, 46 of the 120, but still negotiating a governing coalition.
“Talks are under way to form a stable parliamentary majority and a government for a full four-year term,” the SDSM said.
The SDMS defeated the nationalist opposition VMRO party by just two seats. The VMRO leader Hristijan Mickovski said his party would also attempt to forge a governing coalition.
Now Zaev has 20 days to present his proposed government to the parliament for a vote.
The talks are difficult with the unavoidable partner, the Democratic Union for Integrations (DUI), wrangling for more power.
DUI is the largest of the parties representing the ethnic Albanian minority and controls 15 seats, so the SDSM would with it alone reach the required minimum of 61 votes.
SDSM and DUI were already coalition partners in the previous government.
However, Zaev resigned in January in favour of a technical government tasked with preparing the elections originally scheduled for April 12, but delayed by the Coronavirus pandemic.
Zaev called for elections when the EU failed to agree on inviting Skopje to open membership talks in spite changing the country’s name to end a diplomatic row with Greece.
Meanwhile, North Macedonia both joined NATO and received the green light to begin EU membership talks.

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