North Macedonia confirms new Socialists leader as PM designate

Zoran Zaev [L] and Dimitar Kovacevski [Twitter]

Dimitar Kovacevski, who was elected as the new leader of North Macedonia’s ruling Socialists, was confirmed as the country’s prime minister-designate on Tuesday (28 December) after Zoran Zaev formally resigned from the job, local media reported.

President Stevo Pendarovski gave Kovacevski a mandate to form a new government after his ruling SDSM proposed him as the prime minister-designate late on Monday, the news portal Faktor reported.

Last week, Zaev formally filed his resignation to parliament after he resigned as SDSM leader following his party’s loss in mayoral elections in October.

Under the constitution, Kovacevski should form the new cabinet which has the backing of 64 deputies in the 120-seat parliament in 20 days.

Parliament speaker Talat Dzaferi said that a vote for a new government will be probably scheduled for 15 or 16 January, media reported.

The future government faces challenges from both the coronavirus pandemic and an energy crisis declared last month due to lack of domestic electricity production and price hikes across Europe.

In addition, North Macedonia, which joined NATO last year, wants to join the European Union but Bulgaria objects because of disputes over history and linguistics.

The EU has not given North Macedonia the green light for membership negotiations yet.

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