Macedonia turns new page with Zoran Zaev

Republic of Macedonia had been without a new government since early general elections on December 11 failed to resolve an ongoing political crisis centering on allegations of wiretapping and corruption by the previous government led by the VMRO-DPMNE party. Zaen finally obtained the presidential mandate to form the new government on May 17. The new government faces the daunting task of rebuilding institutions, financial consolidation and curbing corruption, if it is to live up to its promises.

QGN observers say Macedonia needs deep reform of the justice system as well as the reestablishment of professional standards in the police in order to deal with what is regarded as a widespread culture of corruption – a legacy of the previous government, which was accused of “hijacking” state institutions and of relying on authoritarian practices.

Zoran Zaev is the Prime Minister of Macedonia since 31 May 2017 and also political leader of the Social Democratic Union
Zoran Zaev is the Prime Minister of Macedonia since 31 May 2017 and also political leader of the Social Democratic Union

The re-establishment of strong professional institutions and an administration free from the tight grip of political parties is a priority, they say, if the country is to restore a sense of the rule of law and of justice and equal opportunities. Removing the government’s grip on the media and the business sector is another must if Macedonia is to become a genuine democracy, revive its stagnating economy, control budget deficit and public debt, and eventually join NATO and the EU.

The new Prime Minister has the dream of restructuring the country, which could become a competitive location for friendly investments, highly educated workforce, excellent infrastructure, technology achievements and energy hub of South-Easter European region. QGN observers believe that Macedonia with the right leadership and inspiration, could be easily become the ideal place for business development and foreign investments attraction, including the development of the natural gas and electricity sectors, power production, hydro, RES/wind/solar, energy infrastructure, direct privatization of state assets, natural resources and agriculture, tourism and real estate. The new PM, Zoran Zaev, has recently met high-official representative from Qatar and discussed with him a number of major business plans and thoughts to be implemented until 2020.
Who is Zoran Zaev

Zoran Zaev is the Prime Minister of Macedonia since 31 May 2017 and also political leader of the Social Democratic Union. He was a member of the Macedonian Assemblyfrom 2003 to 2005, and became the vice president of the Social Democratic Union of Macedonia in 2006. He was born on October 8, 1974 in Strumica and he is a member of SDSM since 1996. He graduated from the Skopje Faculty of Economics in 1997, and then earned a master’s degree in monetary economics at the same university. He was elected as chairman of the party’s Strumica regional administration in two terms. Zaev served as vice president of the party from 2006 to 2008. Zaev won three consecutive local elections and served as mayor of Strumica from 2005 to 2016. After Branko Crenkovski stepped down as leader of the party in 2013, Zaev was elected as its new leader.

Early elections were held in December 2016, after which Zaev formed coalition  government with the Democratic Union for integration and the Besa Movement in May 2017.

Sources: QGN, Gulf Agencies News, BalkanInsight, Reuters, GN, GT.