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CrisisWatch Macedonia

Unchanged Situation

After failure of former ruling party VMRO DPMNE to form new govt by late Jan deadline following 11 Dec elections, President Ivanov 2 Feb said he would give mandate for forming new govt to party which can demonstrate proof of majority in parliament. VMRO DPMNE called for new elections, accused opposition of sacrificing national interest by making too many concessions to ethnic Albanian parties to win their support for coalition. Opposition Social Democratic Union (SDSM) leader Zoran Zaev 27 Feb claimed mandate to form govt after main ethnic Albanian party DUI and two other ethnic Albanian parties said they would back SDSM, giving him majority support in parliament; conditions for their support included passage of new language law extending use of Albanian as second official language throughout country. Former PM Gruevski 26 Feb said deal unconstitutional and jeopardised state interests. Protests led by VMRO DPMNE broke out in Skopje 27 Feb, drawing thousands and spreading to other towns next day; protesters criticising deal with Albanian parties and calling for protection of ethnic Macedonian interests. Two journalists covering protests in Skopje assaulted 28 Feb.

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Macedonia: Defusing the Bombs

Macedonia is being shaken by twin political and security crises, both of which could escalate into violent confrontation or worse. While another civil war in the Western Balkans is not imminent, there is a serious threat to regional stability that the country’s leaders and international partners need to contain.

Also available in Македонски, Shqip

The Macedonian revolution to come

Just two years ago it appeared that deadly conflict in Macedonia was no longer a serious risk. Recent events have revived the threat.

Originally published in POLITICO

Macedonia: Ten Years after the Conflict

Ten years after the Ohrid Agreement  ended fighting between ethnic Macedonians and Albanians, Macedonia is more stable and inclusive, but political party and ethnic tensions are growing, and the new government needs to reverse the negative trends.

Also available in Русский