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SKOPJE (Macedonia), March 20 (SeeNews) - Macedonia's former prime minister and leader of conservative VMRO-DPMNE party, Nikola Gruevski, has said it is drafting a proposal that could resolve the political crisis in the country.
The document will be presented to the other large political parties in the next days after it receives a final approval by the executive committee of VMRO-DPMNE, Gruevski said in an interview for local broadcaster Kanal 5 on Sunday night.
"It is a political document, which will offer a way out of the current crisis, a document which doesn't favour anyone - either a political party, or an ethnic community, and which should be proposed to all political parties to accept. After it is accepted, the country will come out of the political crisis while keeping its unity," Gruevski said.
Political tensions heightened in Macedonia after president Gjorge Ivanov announced on March 1 that he would not give the mandate for the formation of government to Zoran Zaev, leadеr of the Social Democratic Union of Macedonia (SDSM), despite the proof of parliamentary majority which Zaev had submitted to him. Ivanov explained his decision with concerns that SDSM's agreement with ethnic Albanian parties on the formation of a coalition cabinet would jeopardize the country's sovereignty. Those parties have pegged their participation in the future government to the acceptance of the so-called Tirana platform - a list of political demands they put forward following consultations with Albania's prime minister, Edi Rama.
VMRO-DPMNE won a narrow victory against SDSM in the December 11 snap vote and was the first to be offered to form the new government. However, it failed to agree with ethnic Albanian party DUI on forming a government coalition.
The party led by Gruevski controls 51 of 120 seats in parliament, while SDSM has 49. DUI has 10 seats, while the other three ethnic Albanian parties which entered parliament control 10 seats among themselves.
In the interview, Gruevski recalled that VMRO-DPMNE has already proposed two solutions - either new parliamentary elections, to be held alongside with the local elections, or the formation of a minority government by SDSM. Under minority government, Nikola Gruevski means SDSM to be awarded the mandate to form the new cabinet with VMRO-DPMNE's support, if it drops the Tirana platform. VMRO-DPMNE would then go into opposition. These proposals are still valid, Gruevski said.
"[...] we propose to him [Zaev] all the MPs from VMRO-DPMNE and the coalition "For a Better Macedonia", which means 51 deputies, to vote in favour of his government, he will become prime minister, all cabinet ministers will be from SDSM only and not a single one will be from VMRO-DPMNE, while VMRO-DPMNE and the coalition will go into opposition," Gruevski said.
Gruevski added that even though he and his party have a lot of objections against Zaev's government programme, they are willing that the SDSM leader was awarded the mandate just to prevent the country from falling apart.
In response, SDSM said that the only document which is in the interest of all citizens, is its government programme. On Friday, VMRO-DPMNE filed a motion for the resumption of parliament's constitutive session.
Thousands of ethnic Macedonians protested in late February and early March against the wider use of Albanian language and increased rights for the ethnic Albanians in Macedonia sought by the Tirana platform.
Representatives of the EU, NATO and U.S. representatives have urged president Gjorge Ivanov to reconsider his decision to decline to offer to Zaev to form Macedonia's new government.