Macedonian president refuses to give mandate to Zaev

Bulgaria EU Calls on Macedonia to Consider Giving Zaev Govt Mandate

"After the first failed attempt to form a government, the president of Macedonia should proceed according to the country's Constitution and in line with democratic practices, and give the mandate to the party that can pull Macedonia out of its political crisis", he also said. Talks to form a coalition with the Albanians failed over the language demand.

Ivanov adds that at a meeting with Zaev he proposed him to carry out consultations with the Albanian parties.

Albanian is now only an official language in areas of Macedonia where Albanians make up at least 20 percent of the population.

Social Democrat leader Zoran Zaev formed the coalition after agreeing to support a bill making Albanian the country's second official language.

Ivanov is a close ally of the former prime minister, who allegedly ordered the illegal wiretapping of thousands of people in order to cement his grip on power.


Macedonia's constitution stipulates that if the largest party in parliament fails to build a governing coalition, the second-largest party receives the opportunity to create a government that has support from a parliamentary majority.

In a snap election in December, the nationalist VMRO-DPMNE won 51 seats to the Social Democrats' 49, leaving neither able to form a government without parties representing ethnic Albanians, who make up a third of the population.

Gruevski has said the deal Zaev made with ethnic Albanian parties is a threat to Macedonia and called on his supporters to launch protests to block Zaev from forming a government.

Gruevski's party has said it would use all legal means to prevent the country becoming officially bilingual, noting it would mean a "redefinition of the unitary character" of the country.

Ivanov refused to give the mandate to Zaev claiming the SDSM leader had the potential to "destroy the country" by accepting the demands of the country's ethnic Albanian parties. Macedonia narrowly avoided civil war in 2001 after an uprising by armed ethnic Albanian groups seeking greater rights.

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