North Macedonia’s Lawmakers Elect Dimitar Kovacevski As New PM

North Macedonia’s parliament has elected Dimitar Kovacevski as prime minister of a Social Democrat-led government after two months of political crisis.

The new coalition cabinet, composed of Kovacevski’s Social Democrats and two ethnic Albanian parties as junior partners, won the January 16 vote 62-46 in the 120-seat legislature.

The center-right opposition VMRO-DPMNE party voted against, demanding early elections to give any government legitimacy.

Kovachevski, 47, was a deputy finance minister in the previous government of Social Democrat leader Zoran Zaev.

Zaev resigned after his party’s poor performance in local elections last October.

Kovacevski says his government will focus on economic growth, addressing the country’s energy crisis, and advancing North Macedonia’s bid for European Union membership.

In 2019, Macedonia added North to its official name, resolving a dispute with Greece that allowed the country to join NATO.

But neighboring Bulgaria has blocked the opening of EU accession negotiations due to a dispute over historical and language issues.

Bulgaria’s new Prime Minister Kiril Petkov is scheduled lead an official delegation to North Macedonia on January 18.

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