Prime Minister Zoran Zaev announces his resignation

North Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev resigned on Sunday after his Social Democratic Party lost in the second round of municipal elections in several cities, including the capital Skopje.

According to statements reported by the local press, the Prime Minister of North Macedonia, Zoran Zaev, announced his resignation Sunday evening October 31. The announcement follows the poor results of his party, the SDSM (left) in the municipal elections in this small landlocked country in the Balkans. Zoran Zaev’s decision is a big surprise, and a rather rare event in the country and the region.

“Take his responsibilities”

It follows months of declining popularity for the Prime Minister, who has battled to turn around the economy affected by the coronavirus pandemic and is making little progress in his efforts to open EU membership negotiations. “I take responsibility for these election results. I am resigning from my post as Prime Minister,” Zoran Zaev told reporters.

In this election, the second round of which was held this Sunday, the SDSM lost the capital Skopje and most of the country’s major cities and urban centers after having, in 2017, won more than half of the 80 municipalities of Macedonia in the North. “I brought freedom and democracy, and democracy implies taking responsibility,” said Zoran Zaev, who also resigned from his post as president of the SDSM. Zoran Zaev has not announced further details of his resignation which Parliament has yet to confirm.

Victory for the right-wing camp?

Elected Prime Minister in 2017, he put an end to ten years of reign of Nikola Gruevski and his right-wing party the VMRO-DPMNE, shaken by an illegal wiretapping scandal seeming to testify to rampant corruption.

Proclaiming the victory of its VMRO-DPMNE (right), its leader Hristijan Mickoski considered that “the government (of Zoran Zaev, editor’s note) has lost its legitimacy”. Hristijan Mickoski expressed the hope that this “new reality will manifest itself in Parliament”. “However, the best solution would be for this to happen during early parliamentary elections,” said Hristijan Mickoskii. But Zoran Zaev is opposed to an early poll and intends to secure a majority in Parliament for a new government of the SDSM and its allies.

In 2018, the left-wing Prime Minister reached an agreement with Athens that resolved a dispute with Greece over the name of Macedonia, and providing for the addition of the qualification “of the North” to the name of the country in order to avoid any confusion. with the Greek province bearing the same name. The conclusion of this agreement should in principle open the door to the country’s accession negotiations with the European Union. But North Macedonia subsequently encountered reluctance from France and Bulgaria, and has still not started these negotiations.

Dispute with Sofia

Bulgaria, which threatens to block North Macedonian EU membership negotiations, and Skopje have a dispute over the origins of the Macedonian language. Sofia considers it to be a Bulgarian dialect. The two countries also disagree on historical events and personalities dating back to the time when the region was dominated by the Ottoman Empire.

Despite its victory in the 2010 legislative elections, the government of Zoran Zaev, which has a narrow majority, has not been spared by business, which probably explains in part the result of the municipal elections. Born in the small town of Strumica, Zoran Zaev, a father of two, entered politics in 2003. He was elected mayor of Strumica three times before taking the reign of the SDSM in 2013.

He comes from a family that made a fortune in the production of ajvar, a typical Balkan condiment made from red peppers.

With AFP

Eleon Lass

Eleanor - 28 years I have 5 years experience in journalism, and I care about news, celebrity news, technical news, as well as fashion, and was published in many international electronic magazines, and I live in Paris - France, and you can write to me:

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