Pendarovski hands new PM mandate to Zaev

President Stevo Pendarovski on Thursday handed the mandate for the formation of new government to SDSM leader Zoran Zaev.

Speaking at the handover ceremony at Villa Vodno in Skopje, Zaev said the country most likely would get an ‘efficient’ government before the 20-day government formation deadline expired.

According to him, the new government will be committed to pursuing the ‘right path’ toward the EU and to building the “one society for all” concept freed from nationalism and ethnic prejudice.

“It is an honor and a great responsibility as the leader of the SDSM-led ‘We Can’ coalition to have been entrusted by President Pendarovski the mandate to form a new, European, democratic and responsible government with institutions even better equipped to serve the citizens. Starting now, in the next 20 days, we are tasked with creating a program and picking professionals who will be elected by Parliament to serve the citizens,” Zaev said in his speech.

According to him, North Macedonia will get a government committed to the main objective – EU integration, prosperity and long-term stability, economic development, fight against crime and corruption and cleaning up the judiciary.

“The government program will be mainly focused on the economy, salary and pension hikes, investments in youth, growth and development, committed to supporting those poverty-stricken and local businesses. I will be at the helm of a government that won’t go off the rails and that is determined to join the EU after joining NATO,” Zaev said, mentioning the Ohrid Framework Agreement, which was signed on this day 19 years ago.

Before handing over the mandate, President Pendarovski delivered a short speech.

“Based on Article 84, according to Article 90 of the Constitution and the proposal of the ‘We Can’ coalition, I name Zoran Zaev, SDSM leader and member of Parliament, to be PM-designate to form the government,” Pendarovski said.

Under the Constitution’s Article 90, the PM-designate has 20 days to sent to Parliament a program and to nominate candidates for cabinet ministers. Parliament elects with a majority of votes the government upon a proposal of the PM-designate and the program.