Support independent journalism in Central & Eastern Europe.
Donate to TOL!
The Social Democrat leader seemed poised to take power. Then the right took to the streets.28 February 2017
Supporters of Macedonia’s outgoing ruling party demonstrated in Skopje yesterday in a bid to stop the trouble-free transfer of power promised by the man who could be Macedonia’s next prime minister.
The conservative VMRO DPMNE party fiercely opposes the agreement between the rival Social Democrats and parties representing the Albanian minority that cleared the way for a Social Democrat-led coalition.
"The signatures allow the crisis to end in Macedonia and the country finally to move forward," Zaev said, adding that he expected a "peaceful and quick transfer of power."
That appeared to be the spark that sent thousands of VMRO DPMNE supporters into the streets to denounce the coalition agreement. Protesters aimed most of their ire at the proposed law making Albanian a co-official language in the country.
The three Albanian parties insisted on greater language rights as a condition of joining a new government. In December’s election their combined total of 18 parliamentary seats made them the kingmakers in any potential coalition, whether conservative- or Social Democrat-led.
Currently, Albanian can be used officially only in areas where Albanians make up more than 20 percent of the population, Balkan Insight reports. Albanians comprise about a quarter of Macedonia’s 2.1 million inhabitants.
On Friday, parliamentary deputies for the Democratic Union for Integration (DUI), the main Albanian party, said they would back the Social Democrat bid to form a new government, Balkan Insight wrote earlier.
Talks between the DUI and Zaev’s party would continue, a DUI spokesman said, adding that the deputies’ stance did not commit the party to participate in the next government.
TOL's Summer Journalism Courses in Prague - Last places available!
July 2017- Data Journalism Boot Camp course and Going on Assignment in Prague - Special edition of Foreign Correspondent course
Practical training by respected journalists and media professionals. See TOL Education website for more information.
The Moldovan Diaries is a multimedia, interactive examination of the country's ethnic, religious, social and political identities by Paolo Paterlini and Cesare De Giglio.
This innovative approach to story telling gives voice to ordinary people and takes the reader on the virtual trip across Moldovan rural and urban landscapes.
It is a unique and intimate map of the nation.