Balkans: November 1, 2002


Macedonias new multi-ethnic government has now assumed power in Skopje. The new prime minister is Branko Crvenkovski, head of the Social Democratic Alliance of Macedonia (SDSM) party, which is the main party in the Together for Macedonia (TM) coalition. (SDSM is a left-leaning party.) As StrategyPage reported last month, TMs chief coalition partner is the ethnic Albanian party, the Democratic Union of Integration (DUI). Whats interesting is that DUI leader (and former NLA commander) Ali Ahmeti is keeping his head down. Despite his electoral success, he does not have a cabinet position and seems to be avoiding the press. These are probably smart political moves, especially as the new government gets its feet on the ground. To say Ahmeti carries a lot of baggage is putting it mildly. Many Macedonian Slavs think Ahmeti is a criminal and a terrorist, and that including him in the government rewards terrorism. The deputy prime minister is Petar Gosev of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). Gosev will also serve as finance minister. SDSM members serve in the key Interior and Defense posts. (Austin Bay)




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