PES hopes to see free and fair elections in FYR Macedonia after new government agreed
Early on Friday morning the four major political parties in FYR Macedonia finally reached an agreement on composition of the new technical government. This will include new SDSM members in the run-up to the early parliamentary elections next April. The government composition was the main stumbling block to the implementation of the Pržino agreement. This sets new electoral rules which will be used for the early elections and opens the door for the Parliament to vote on the new government.
The Party of European Socialists welcomes the agreement reached by embattled Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski and opposition Social Democrats leader Zoran Zaev. The PES and the S&D group were actively involved in helping to resolve the political crisis in Macedonia in the last months. The PES organised a fact finding mission to Macedonia earlier this year, and PES President Sergei Stanishev attended the biggest political rally in Skopje in May, where Macedonian people express their will for democratic reforms. Our colleagues in the S&D group also took a delegation to Macedonia.
PES President Sergei Stanishev welcomed the agreement:
'The failure to meet the October 20 deadline agreed to in the July 15 Pržino Agreement was a disappointment to us all, but I commend the constructive role played by PES sister party SDSM leader Zoran Zaev and his team in these talks'.
Following the agreement, SDSM's Secretary-General Oliver Spasovski is to become the new Minister of Interior and his colleague Frosina Remenski – the new Minister for Labour and Social Policy.
Stanishev added: 'The agreements reached must be implemented in full and good faith, in order to ensure credible elections and a level playing field for all. These elections, together with the impartial and objective investigation into the wiretapping issue and ensuring accountability for any wrongdoings, will be the next important tests for the country. FYR Macedonia should not miss this chance to return to the path of political stability and genuine democracy. The PES will continue to be actively engaged and work together with the S&D Group in the European Parliament to support the country and our comrades from SDSM in these efforts'.
The PES will hold its annual Western Balkans Conference this Saturday in Belgrade, Serbia, to take stock of EU integration process and discuss current challenges, with migration ranking high on the agenda.