Zoran Zaev, North Macedonia’s Prime Minister said last on Sunday his county would hold an early vote on April 12 next year, after the European Union failed to set a date for the opening of accession negotiations with Skopje, the Beta news agency reported.
The decision was made in the meeting of the leaders of all ruling and opposition parties with the country’s President Stevo Pendarovski.
The media speculated that Zaev would resign, but he said though the EU decision left him with bitterness, he did not have the right to give up and added it was up to the people whether they would give him another term to continue leading the country as he had done so far.
The agreement among the parties and Pendarovski says a technical government will be formed on January 3, when Zaev will officially resign.
“We are united that our goal remains to continue with the Euro-Atlantic integrations, and we don’t accept any alternative. We are staying on the road of democracy and the rule of law,” Zaev said.
The first task Skopje is facing is its full membership to NATO expected by December this year.
Pendarovski confirmed that the country did not have any alternative to the Euro-Atlantic negotiations.
He added that the parties’ leaders said they did not have anything against changes in the accession procedure that France, helped by Denmark and the Netherlands, had insisted on when voted against any specific date for the opening negotiations with both Skopje and Tirana.
The leader of the largest opposition party, nationalist VMRO – DPMNE, Hristijan Mickoski supported the early elections since “Zaev’s government suffered a debacle.”
Mickoski and his party strongly opposed the name deal with Greece which opened the door to North Macedonia's international integrations after 27 years of the Greek blockade due to the country's old name.