Press release

UK statement on political developments in Macedonia

Foreign Office Spokeswoman welcomes the election of a new Speaker and calls for an unhindered and non-violent transfer of power to the elected majority coalition.

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There has been a political crisis in Macedonia since 2015. Early elections took place in December last year. On 1 March 2017, a clear majority of those MPs elected in December asked to form a government. However, President Ivanov refused to offer the mandate so that the majority coalition could form a government. On 27 April a Speaker was elected by the Macedonian Parliament.

A Foreign Office Spokeswoman said:

The UK supports the democratic decision of the majority of Macedonian MPs to elect Talat Xhaferi as Speaker. We look forward to working with him.

We call on all individuals, institutions and parties to allow an unhindered and non-violent transfer of power from the previous ruling party to the majority coalition elected in December 2016. The sooner a government is formed, the sooner it can get on with implementing urgent reforms to benefit Macedonia’s citizens.

At a time of heightened tension, all leaders should refrain from inflaming ethnic tensions. Any such behaviour is dangerous and contrary to the interests of Macedonia’s national unity.

In the wake of the unacceptable violence of 27 April we also call for the State authorities, in particular the police, to be allowed to fulfil their roles without political interference.

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Published 3 May 2017