Status: 01.11.2021 12:47 a.m.
The head of government takes responsibility for the poor performance of his party in local elections. He had been in office since 2017 and had led the country into NATO.
North Macedonia’s Prime Minister Zoran Zaev has announced his resignation. Zaev told journalists on Sunday that he was taking responsibility for his party’s poor performance in local elections over the weekend. “I take responsibility for the results of these elections,” said Zaev. “I am resigning as prime minister.”
Zaev said he “brought freedom and democracy” to the country. “And democracy means taking responsibility.” Zaev has been Prime Minister of North Macedonia since 2017.
However, the chairman of the nationalist opposition party VMRO-DPMNE, Hristijan Mickoski, is calling for new elections to be held immediately. In the parliamentary elections last year, a party alliance led by Zaev’s Social Democrats won a narrow victory over the VMRO-DPMNE.
EU accession negotiations stall
In 2018 he agreed in negotiations with the then Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on the new country name Republic of North Macedonia and thus put an end to a name dispute with Greece that had been going on since 1991. From the perspective of Greece, the former name Macedonia, which the former Yugoslav republic had given itself after its independence, was part of the Greek national heritage and also marked a claim to the northern Greek province of Macedonia.
The settlement of the dispute paved the way for the country to become a member of NATO and to move closer to the EU. Zaev had pledged to combat the corona pandemic and its economic effects and to make progress in the EU accession talks. In the past few months, however, he has barely made any progress.