Prime Minister of North Macedonia officially resigns | Taiwan News
SKOPJE, North Macedonia (AP) – North Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev officially resigned on Wednesday, in a move he announced after his ruling Social Democratic party was heavily defeated in the October local elections.
Zaev is set to be replaced by a former deputy finance minister Dimitar Kovachevski, who was elected the new leader of the left-wing party on December 13 after Zaev also stepped down from the leadership of the Social Democrats.
“The results of the last elections, although local, had national political weight for the political moment in which the country finds itself,” Zaev said in a letter explaining his resignation.
The North Macedonian parliament is expected to officially accept Zaev’s resignation on Thursday.
Within the next 10 days, President Stevo Pendarovski is due to hand over the mandate of forming a new government to a coalition led by the Social Democrats which controls the majority of the 120 members of parliament.
The Social Democrats won a majority – avoiding early elections – after reaching a deal with a small ethnic Albanian party to join the governing coalition that will control 64 seats.
After receiving the mandate, Kovachevski, 47, will have 20 days to propose a new government to parliament. His new cabinet is expected to be elected by mid-January.
Zaev has been party leader since 2013 and prime minister since 2016. He won North Macedonia’s NATO membership after ending a decades-long dispute with Greece over the country’s name. But it has been unable to advance its ambitions for EU membership, largely due to a historic dispute with another EU neighbor, Bulgaria.
Zaev said on Wednesday that the agreement with Greece “provided lasting peace and security and paved the way for the economic well-being of the people.”
The country’s main center-right opposition party, VMRO-DPMNE, is pushing for early elections, insisting that the new government must only gain legitimacy through a vote.