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N. Macedonia's PM-designate forms new coalition cabinet

N. Macedonia's PM-designate forms new coalition cabinet Qatar Airways/All rights reserved.

SKOPJE (N. Macedonia), January 11 (SeeNews) - North Macedonia's prime minister-designate and new leader of ruling left-wing SDSM party, Dimitar Kovacevski, said that he has put together his coalition government and will submit the list of cabinet ministers to parliament for approval on Tuesday.

In the proposed cabinet of 16 ministries, SDSM will have seven ministers and three deputy prime ministers, including the ministers of defence, interior, justice and transport, Kovacevski told a news conference streamed by SDSM on its YouTube channel late on Monday.

The new line-up includes Slavica Grkovska as deputy prime minister for fight against corruption and crime, sustainable development and human resources, Fatmir Bytyqy as deputy prime minister in charge of economic affairs and Bojan Marichik as deputy prime minister for European affairs.

Slavjanka Petrovska is set to be the new minister of defence, Nikola Tupanchevski the new justice minister, Jovana Trenchevska the new minister of labour and social policy. and Bisera Kostadinovska-Stojchevska the new culture minister. In the new cabinet, Oliver Spasovski, Ljupcho Nikolovski and Blagoj Bochvarski will remain in the positions of ministers of the interior, agriculture and transport, respectively, which they hold in the outgoing government led by Zoran Zaev.

Kovacevski did not disclose names of cabinet ministers proposed by SDSM's coalition partners. It is also not yet known whether the current economy minister Kreshnik Bekteshi and finance minister Fatmir Besimi, both members of Albanian Democratic Union of Integration (DUI), will hold poitions in the new government.

To be approved, the new coalition government needs to be backed by at least 61 of 120 members of parliament. SDSM, together with its coalition partners, controls 63 seats in the unicameral Assembly.

SDSM reached an agreement in December with small opposition ethnic Albanian party Alternative to form a new majority in parliament after Besa, a junior partner in the previous coalition led by Zoran Zaev, withdrew its support for a new SDSM-led cabinet. Under the agreement, Alternative was to name the new ministers of health, information society and administration, a minister without portfolio in charge of diaspora and three deputy ministers in the new government, and taking over the management of a number of public institutions.

Alternative holds four seats in parliament, while Besa has three.

North Macedonia's president Stevo Pendarovski handed Kovacevski the mandate to form the country's new government in late December.

Kovacevski will replace Zoran Zaev, who submitted his resignation, forcing the whole government to step down, after SDSM suffered a defeat in the recent local elections.

Zaev's coalition cabinet comprising SDSM-led alliance Mozeme and DUI was voted into office in August 2020 by 62 MPs.

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