Macedonia Forms new Government; Promises Fight Against Corruption

Published: 01 June 2017

By Jonny Wrate

Ending a six months-long political deadlock, Macedonia’s parliament endorsed late Wednesday a new government led by the Social Democrats in coalition with ethnic Albanian parties.


Lawmakers voted 62-44 around midnight to confirm a 26-member Cabinet proposed by Zoran Zaev, the leader of the Social Democrat party. Five lawmakers abstained and nine were absent.

Zaev was sworn in as prime minister right after the vote and promised economic reform, efforts to join the EU and NATO as well as fight against corruption.

Macedonia has been in political turmoil since two years ago leaked wiretaps revealed the extent to which public officials were involved in corruption, election rigging and other crimes.

After inconclusive elections in December, Zaev managed to put together a coalition with ethnic Albanian parties after agreeing to support a bill making Albanian the country's second official language.

This sparked protests by Macedonian nationalists and the then ruling conservative VMRO DPMNE accused Zaev of giving too much power to the country’s ethnic Albanians and this way jeopardizing Macedonia’s sovereignty.

Ethnic Albanians make up a quarter of the country’s population.

"I will be a prime minister [working] for everyone. I announce a responsible, reformist, European government," Zaev told the parliament, according to Balkan Insight.

"The concept of one society for all is the future of Macedonia," he said.