The President has blocked the opposition leader from forming a new government as Prime Minister as the political crisis deepens in Macedonia.


President Gjorge Ivanov has denied permission to the Social Democrat government to form a coalition with an ethnic Albanian party, as the country's long running political crisis continues to escalate.


The head of the social democrats, leader Zoran Zaev asked the President to name him as the official Prime Minister of the country following weeks of talks between the two parties in the wake of an inconclusive election in December.


In the election held in December the Social Democrats won 49 seats, while their opposition, the VMRO-DPMNE party, won 51 seats, leaving neither able to form the government without forming a partnership deal with the parties representing ethnic Albanians, who make up one third of the population.


Weeks of negotiations led to Zaev forming a majority coalition with the Albanian Democratic Union of Integration (DUI) after agreeing on a number of policies, namely confirming that a bill to enable the wider use of Albanian language would be passed.


But despite that mess being sorted out, the President has now said he will not support the move as it goes against the country's constitution.


Speaking live on state television, President Ivanov said: "As long as I am president, I will not give the mandate [to form the cabinet] to a party working against sovereignty."


The country now remains in limbo with an Albanian Democratic Union of Integration (DUI) member saying it is "total chaos."


The country has been in political limbo for two years since a corruption scandal was unearthed.


The former Prime Minister and candidate for the VMRO-DPMNE party, Nikola Gruevski was finally chucked out of office for the scandal in January last year and ever since then a row has grown over who should continue on.


He had spent 10 years in power and was a close ally of the President.


It is claimed Gruevski allegedly ordered the illegal wiretapping of thousands of people in order to cement his grip on power.

CEN/State Chancellery of Latvia
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Author: Diona Martin

Diona Martin