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Asia and the Pacific
Western Asia

North Macedonia - January 2024

Parliament agrees on caretaker government; elects first-ever ethnic Albanian PM

Parliament elected Talat Xhaferi from the Democratic Union for Integration (BDI), the largest ethnic Albanian party, to be the caretaker prime minister. Despite the opposition VMRO-DPMNE party securing two ministerial and three deputy positions in the new cabinet, its MPs abstained from voting for Xhaferi. The vote follows the resignation of Prime Minister Dimitar Kovačevski, in line with a system introduced in 2015 to prevent ruling party interference in the 100 days before elections through the formation of caretaker (technical) governments. Xhaferi's election follows a 2020 coalition agreement between the ruling Social Democrats and BDI, where the appointment of an ethnic Albanian as caretaker PM was a condition. Xhaferi's election as the first ethnic Albanian in this role has been considered historic. Previously, Xhaferi was North Macedonia's first ethnic Albanian defense minister and speaker of parliament.

Sources: Balkan Insight, Deutsche Welle, Nova Makedonija (1), Nova Makedonija (2), Europe Western Balkans

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