North Macedonian PM to resign, leading country to snap elections after EU rejection

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times October 21, 2019 14:39

North Macedonian PM to resign, leading country to snap elections after EU rejection

Story Highlights

  • Following Zaev’s statement, the ruling and opposition parties in Northern Macedonia agreed on Sunday evening for early parliamentary elections to take place on April 12, 2020.

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TIRANA, Oct. 21 – North Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev said snap elections will take place after talking about failure to get a date for opening accession negotiations during the European Council meeting on Thursday in Brussels. 

He did not hide his emotions as he said his country had suffered a great injustice. 

“We brought all our commitments to reality, but the European Union did not reflect on the promises made. We made reforms, we solved the problems with our neighbors while the EU did not comply with its word,” Zaev said.

“The European Union failing to decide to open talks with us is a historic mistake and this was confirmed by all European leaders,” Zaev said, highlighting the frustration and outrage.

He further said the EU decision was taken under unresolved internal problems, which Northern Macedonia cannot change.

He, however, came feeling responsible in front of citizens. 

“I stand in front of you and clearly urge you, the European dream for Macedonians, Albanians, Serbs, Vlachs, Turks, Roma, Bosniaks and others living in our country – it will not be ruined,” he said. 

“That’s why I propose the quick holding of snap elections. Elections, as soon as possible,” said Zaev, who will also be resigning from his post as the country’s PM. 

Zaev said that it’s up to citizens “to take the right way towards democratic and European values, to development and prosperity, or to the dark path of isolation, nationalism, divisions and conflicts, which is the way backwards.”

The opposition, both Macedonian and Albanian, has been calling for early elections for months, as the Democratic Union for Integration has not backed the idea, due to the possibility of regression from reforms and integration processes, as its officials have often said.

A part of analysts have also said that early elections would halt the progress of reforms launched and take Northern Macedonia a precious time to achieve the required European standards. 

Following Zaev’s statement, the ruling and opposition parties in Northern Macedonia agreed on Sunday evening for early parliamentary elections to take place on April 12, 2020.

In the meeting convened by President Stevo Pendarovski, the issue of snap elections was the second topic after the failure to obtain a date for opening negotiations with the European Union.

The election date was accepted by consensus of all participants in the meeting: Zaev, who is both PM and chairman of the Social Democratic League, Hristijan Mickovski of the opposition VMRO-DPMNE, Ali Ahmeti of the Democratic Union for Integration, Zijadin Sela chairman of the Alliance for Albanians , Afrim Gashi of Alternative, Bilal Kasami of the Besa Movement and Menduh Thaçi of the Albanian Democratic Party.

Under a deal made some years ago, three months before the election date, the PM must resign and form a caretaker government, which will include the opposition. 

Under this agreement, the technical government should be formed by January 3.

Zaev said at the meeting that his party was ready to accept a single constituency or open lists.

Northern Macedonia currently has six constituencies and each sends twenty deputies to the Republican Parliament.

Opposition leader Mickovski told reporters that it was important to set a date for early elections, as he dismissed allegations made by SDSM officials that he was glad the country did not get a date for EU negotiations. 

Opposition parties have been calling for early elections for months, criticizing Mr Zaev’s government for corruption scandals, nepotism and inability to carry out reforms that would lead the country towards European integration.

 

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times October 21, 2019 14:39