N. Macedonia to hold elections on July 15 to back EU membership bid
Political parties in North Macedonia agreed on Monday to hold parliamentary elections on July 15, despite a persistent level of coronavirus infections. Nevertheless, the move is seen as a crucial step for the landlocked Balkan country’s EU membership bid.
The newest NATO member’s elections will also be a test of support for the pro-EU policies of the Social Democrats of former Prime Minister Zoran Zaev. After talks with Kristijan Mickoski, the head of the main opposition and nationalist VMRO-DPMNE party, Zaev said the country needed a functional government.
“We cannot bear a bigger crisis than this with a technical government and without a parliament,” Zaev said. He resigned in January after the EU refused to set a date for accession talks. In March, the EU said membership talks could begin with North Macedonia and Albania.
A transitional government had initially scheduled a snap parliamentary election for April 12 but postponed it due to the coronavirus which has infected 4,157 people and killed 193, Reuters said. Last week, North Macedonia lifted a state of emergency introduced in March to contain the outbreak.