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Macedonian conservatives fail to form government with ethnic Albanians

Publisher Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
Publication Date 30 January 2017
Cite as Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Macedonian conservatives fail to form government with ethnic Albanians, 30 January 2017, available at: [accessed 24 May 2023]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

January 30, 2017

Former Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski greeting supporters last year.

Macedonia's conservative leader has failed to reach a deal with his traditional ethnic Albanian allies to form a new government as the midnight deadline expired on January 29.

Early on January 30, former Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski's party, VMRO-DPMNE called for new elections and warned against any solution that would not include his party.

The VRMO narrowly won early elections on December 11, capturing 51 of the 120 seats, two more than their rival, the Social Democratic Union of macedonia (SDSM).

Under Macedonia's constitution, if the party that won the election fails to form a government, the president then gives the task to the second-largest party, in this case the SDSM.

"A coalition agreement with the [ethnic Albanian Democratic Union for Integration] has not been reached . . . The VMRO considers that holding new elections is the mature solution to overcome the crisis and set reform priorities," Gruevski's party said.

"Any other solution would lead only to new conflicts . . . in an already divided society," it added.

The largest ethnic Albanian political party, the DUI, said it was unable to make a "clear decision" on a coalition with the conservatives.

Ethnic Albanians make up about one-quarter of Macedonia's population.

Based on reporting by AP and dpa

Link to original story on RFE/RL website

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