The ten day deadline for President Stevo Pendarovski to give the mandate to a candidate who would form the next Government is ticking on. It started on Thursday, when Zoran Zaev resigned as Prime Minister following his major defeat in the local elections.

It is widely expected that Pendarovski will give the mandate to the new SDSM party leader Dimitar Kovacevski on Tuesday or Wednesday. But that depends on the outcome of the meeting of the SDSM party on Monday evening, when Kovacevski will appoint his new leadership. SDSM and DUI do not have majority in Parliament and are forced to court parties such as the Alternative and a half dozen smaller coalition partners, all of whom have increased appetites. And Kovacevski must keep all the SDSM factions in check – in one example, a member of Parliament from Ohrid yesterday threatened not to support the Government unless the local SDSM party boss is removed.