Skopje, 21 July 2020 (MIA) – Negotiations over the formation of a new government will kick off after Ilinden (Aug. 2). The numbers are very clear – SDSM and the “We Can” coalition in last week’s elections won most seats and it’s crystal clear who has secured the mandate to form a government, SDSM leader Zoran Zaev says.
“We had fair, democratic and crystal clear elections that demonstrated the democratic capacity of our country and of SDSM as well, being a political option and a ruling party. In three elections in a row, the citizens voted in a free and democratic atmosphere and SDSM has won all three elections. Is there a greater success than the citizens entrusting you to lead in a free atmosphere? Is there greater victory than winning a majority in freedom, opposed to the majority (ex-PM Nikola) Gruevski had won with intimidation,” Zaev tells the web-portal A1on in an interview.
According to him, the support of voters for the “We Can” coalition is a clear signal that the majority want their country to be European, safe, prosperous and economically developed, building new friendships and fostering good neighborly ties.
“The election victory is yet another confirmation and support of SDSM’s policies, of the Prespa Agreement and the Friendship Treaty with Bulgaria. It was proven once again that the citizens support bold decisions, which makes me very proud and happy,” Zaev says, criticizing the opposition VMRO-DPMNE’s offer of ‘outdated and nationalistic policies.’
“Their offer to revise the agreements with Greece and Bulgaria, to threaten our NATO membership and our EU integration process was shown a red card by the voters,” he stresses.
The SDSM leader says his party and the coalition have ‘the biggest coalition-making potential.’ “We will discuss forming a coalition with all the parties that are ready to endorse the European, democratic and freedom-loving concept of the country,” Zaev says, adding the negotiations will start right after the Ilinden holiday in early August.
“At this moment, we need stable parliamentary majority, stable government capable of managing the health crisis and the economic consequences effectively all the while maintaining the EU integration concept we’ve been waiting for 30 years,” notes Zaev.
He voices hope that ‘reason’ will prevail to secure a functional government within the deadlines regulated under the Constitution.
Commenting on VMRO-DPMNE’s position that it won the elections, the SDSM leader notes that the opposition party and its leader has demonstrated lack of political culture and no capacity to concede defeat.
“VMRO-DPMNE and Hristijan Mickoski in the elections experienced a clear defeat in a fair and democratic contest as they were also defeated in the local and presidential polls in the past few years,” Zaev states.
As regards DUI’s stance that the party should propose the candidate for prime minister, Zaev notes that it is very clear who gets mandate to form a government in a parliamentary democracy, adding he would no longer comment on this.
Furthermore, Zaev underscores that the country in the coming period will be faced with serious processes to handle the corona crisis and the economic consequences as well as the upcoming opening of negotiations for membership in the EU.
“I believe all political stakeholders will realize the gravity of the moment. Our goal is to form a government for the next four years. We’ve had enough of snap polls,” he states in the interview with A1on.
According to Zaev, August will be a busy political month when North Macedonia is expected to complete the election process and to get a new Parliament and a new government.