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.
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.
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.