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Zaev resigns as PM and Socialist Party chairman after new defeat in second round of local elections

Developments in northern Macedonia are a storm ahead as Zoran Zaev’s Social Democratic Party (SDSM) suffered a crushing defeat in the second round of municipal elections held yesterday, Sunday.

Zoran Zaev said late last night that he takes responsibility for the loss of his party and resigned as the country’s prime minister and as his party leader.

“Together with the citizens we brought freedom and democracy and when there is democracy there is responsibility. “I resign as Prime Minister of Northern Macedonia and as President of the Social Democratic Union,” said Zaev.

SDSM leader Zoran Zaev congratulated Danela Arsovski on her victory as mayor of Skopje and announced that she was taking responsibility for the election defeat.

“Even in such circumstances, I remain of the opinion that there should be no early parliamentary elections,” said Zaev, adding that he will stay until the formation of the new government. He has announced that he remains committed to the party in the coming period.

“It is two and a half years of unique work and economic success from which all our people and the country will benefit. I will stay in this mandate to help reorganize the new government with a progressive majority that has and is in place and can grow. “Personally, as a person, I am part of SDSM and the progressive people and I remain on the front line,” said the Prime Minister.

He said that he is proud of the accession of Northern Macedonia to NATO and believes that in a few months we have the opportunity to start negotiations with the EU. He also cited the successful census, before expressing disappointment that there was a visible alliance between the people of the opposing parties at the April 27 assembly.

“It is time for citizens to support politicians who make difficult decisions,” Zaev said.

Incumbent Petre Silegov also congratulated Danela Arsovska, an independent candidate backed by VMRO-DPMNE, on her victory.

“I thank my family, the wonderful team with which we spent four years in Skopje and where we built indelible traces, boulevards, bridges, docks and our green roofs that no one can erase. “We will be here with all progressive forces to continue the fight for Skopje,” Silegov told a news conference at SDSM headquarters.

Zoran Zaev has been Prime Minister since May 2017 and leader of SDSM since 2013.

In yesterday’s second round of municipal elections, Zoran Zaev’s party suffered a major defeat, both in the Skopje metropolitan municipality and in all other large municipalities in the country, where polling stations were set up for the second round. .

The big winner of these municipal elections was the right-wing opposition VMRO-DPMNE, whose leader, Christian Mitskoski, said late last night that Zoran Zaev’s government had lost the trust of the people and claimed that the country now had the conditions for an early parliament. elections.

“Many doubted us, but hope prevailed. Macedonia needs to change and the changes start today. We all dream of a better future. But today we begin to change the image of the country and begin our work to improve our living standards and secure our future. I am grateful to all the citizens who voted for us and those who did not vote for us, whose support we will continue to ask for. “We went through a lot of riots, but it was worth it”, said Mitskoski.

The current government has a parliamentary majority, albeit a small one (supported by 62 deputies out of 120 in the country’s legislature). Therefore, the largest party in the ruling coalition, SDSM, in consultation with its government partners, may appoint a new prime minister, who will seek a vote of confidence from the Assembly.

However, it is possible that one – or several – of the smaller coalition parties will lose confidence in the current government and “switch” to the opposition and VMRO-DPMNE, which in this case may lead a new government without elections. .

If neither of the above two scenarios ‘ends’, then early parliamentary elections should be called instead. In this case, according to current legislation, an interim government must be formed 100 days before the elections, which will lead the country to elections.

The only certainty is that Northern Macedonia as of today has a suspended government.

Second round results

A total of 44 municipalities were elected in yesterday’s elections, including the 700,000-strong Skopje metropolitan municipality, in which the independent candidate, Danela Arsovska, who was nevertheless openly supported by VMRO-DPMNE, won by 14 percentage points against the mayor. of the outgoing Skopje and the new SDSM candidate, Petre Silengov.

VMRO-DPMNE also won in other major municipalities in the country, such as Bitola and Ohrid, while in Kumanovo, the second largest municipality in the country, SDSM ‘rebel’ and incumbent Maksim Dimitrievski won over SDSM- of. candidate Oliver Ilievski. Dimitrijewski this time did not accept the SDSM nomination and ran as an independent candidate, which led to his expulsion from the party.

In the Albanian political “camp”, the largest Albanian party in northern Macedonia, Ali Ahmeti’s DUI, lost in the country’s largest “Albanian” municipality, Tetovo, where its candidate, Teuta Arifi, was defeated by the leader of the smallest municipality. co-government of the Albanian party “BESA”, Bilal Kasami. However, Ali Ahmed’s party won in Struga, while losing as expected in Gostivar./ ibna

Source: skopjenews, nezavisen

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