North Macedonia’s ruling party, the Social Democratic Union of Macedonia (SDSM) has elected Dimitar Kovachevski as its new leader on Sunday 12th of December. Kovachevski, who is an economist and is currently serving as the deputy finance minister, beat two other candidates who were also competing for the position. The election of Kovachevski as the new party leader has paved the way for him to take over from Zoran Zaev and possibly become North Macedonia’s new prime minister.
Zoran Zaev announced his resignation as both prime minister and SDSM leader in October, after his party suffered a defeat in North Macedonia’s local elections. Zaev did not immediately resign as he decided to remain in office until the country’s political situation was stabilized.
Zaev’s resignation resulted in political uncertainty in North Macedonia, as the conservative opposition tried to topple the centre-left government with a vote of no-confidence. However, the vote did not gain a majority in parliament. In order to strengthen his government, Zaev solidified its coalition by making a deal with the Alternative party, a small ethnic Albanian party. Gaining 4 more MP’s, the government now has the support of 64 PMs in the 120-seat parliament.
While Zaev has stated he will resign as head of government in the coming weeks, some expect he will stay on longer in order to resolve a dispute with Bulgaria that has blocked North Macedonia’s bid to join the EU. President Stevo Pendarovsky will announce which party or coalition will be tasked with forming a new government.