North Macedonia Gets New Prime Minister

(@FahadShabbir)

North Macedonia gets new prime minister

Skopje, Republic of North Macedonia, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 17th Jan, 2022 ) :The North Macedonia's parliament late Sunday elected Social Democrat technocrat Dimitar Kovacevski as prime minister after more than two months of political turmoil in the country.

Kovacevski, a former deputy finance minister, succeeds Zoran Zaev who stepped down last month following his party's heavy defeat in municipal elections.

The new coalition cabinet, led by Kovacevski's Social Democrats (SDSM), was backed by 62 MPs of those present in the 120-seat parliament. Forty-six lawmakers voted against.

Presenting his agenda to the parliament on Saturday, Kovacevski had said a key goal of his government would be "higher and sustainable economic growth".

He also promised to address the country's energy crisis and to try to bring it closer to the European Union.

Kovacevski, 47, assumed leadership of the SDSM helm last month.

He takes over as prime minister after the previous, government, also SDSM-led, survived a no-confidence vote in November after weeks of negotiations with smaller parties.

Ever since however, the opposition has accused the government of lacking legitimacy and has called for early elections.

Kovacevski insists the elections will be held as scheduled in 2024.

As deputy finance minister Kovacevski, who holds a PhD in economics, kept a low profile.

Political analysts have questioned whether he will be able to negotiate the challenges the nation faces.

At home, they say, he will have to face the complex relations within the ruling coalition and the corruption crippling the country's economy.

His biggest foreign policy challenge is thought to be getting progress on EU membership talks, which are stalled because of the opposition of Bulgaria.

In 2019, the country added the geographical qualifier "North" to the its official name to distinguish it from the Greek province of Macedonia.

The change enabled North Macedonia to join NATO and was a precondition for paving the way for its possible EU membership.

But Bulgaria stands in the country's path to EU membership because of a dispute over historical issues and the origin of the Macedonian language.