The general elections in North Macedonia on July 15th reveal no obvious winner: the center-left Social Democratic Union of Macedonia (SDSM) and its alias (We Can coalition) secured 46 parliamentary seats out of 120, while its closest rival, the Renewal coalition led by the center-right to right-wing Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization – Democratic Party for Macedonian National Unity (VMRO-DPMNE) has won 44 seats. SDSM, despite its recent success in progressing NATO and EU-accession talks, is facing a backlash from a fraction of voters disappointed by the change of the name of the country to North Macedonia and the delay in reforming the country’s judiciary system after the recent corruption scandal involving SDSM officials.
We consider the following constraints in the government formation process. The Albanian minority interests Democratic Union for Integration (DUI), the 3d largest political party with 15 seats, retains its kingmaker status: the party considers an alliance with both SDSM- and VMRO-DPMNE-led coalitions and may be decisive for shaping the future government. Moreover, a coalition of the two leading parties is not fully excluded and could be the only way to form government without DUI. The Left (Levica) criticizes both major parties (SDSM and VMRO-DPMNE) and rules out cooperation with them. Based on these constraints and the current polls, we present our forecast of government formation in North Macedonia:
most stable (most likely) government formation scenario implies a
VMRO-DPMNE-led government in coalition with DUI and the Alliance for
Albanians (AA). The less likely alternative involves a coalition
between SDSM and DUI or SDSM and VMRO-DPMNE. DUI may prefer the
alliance with VMRO-DPMNE, as it can expect a higher share of power in
Macedonia seems to be approaching a significant milestone defining
further development of the country: as the talks about EU accession
stall, its prime minister, Zoran
Zaev from the
Social Democratic Union of Macedonia (SDSM),
resigns allowing the future of the country to be decided in the snap
elections on April 12th.
EU talks complications give rise to the right-wing
powers within the country.
According to the polls dated Novermber-December 2019, social-democratic SDSM and center-right to right-wing Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization – Democratic Party for Macedonian National Unity (VMRO-DPMNE) are the leading political forces in North Macedonia. At the same time, the Albanian minority interests Democratic Union for Integration (DUI), the junior partner in the current SDSM-led coalition, refuses to exclude the possibility of coalition with VMRO-DPMNE in hopes to achieve a kingmaker status in the coming government formation process. The Left (Levica) criticizes both major parties (SDSM and VMRO-DPMNE) and rules out cooperation with them. Based on these constraints and the current polls, we present our forecast of government formation in North Macedonia:
With the considered level of electoral support of the political parties, the most stable (the most likely) government formation scenario implies an SDSM-led government in coalition with smaller players: Albanian minority parties Besa Movement (Besa), Alliance for Albanians (AA), the Democratic Party of Albanians (DPA), conservative Democratic Alternative (DA) and other smaller parties. In this scenario SDSM is able to avoid the need for cooperation with DUI or with less likely VMRO-DPMNE, however, the feasibility of this coalition depends on the actual elections outcome (whether the smaller players can secure enough parliamentary seats). Second most stable scenario involves VMRO-DPMNE, DUI and AA.