Doubts over the next steps of the Parliament persist. Constitutional experts have told Republika that a Parliament that has convened but has not elected a Speaker can’t be considered fully constituted.

This is important for the deadlines that regulate the forming of a Government. Under the Constitution, the President has 10 days after the Parliament is constituted to give the mandate to a candidate of a party or a coalition that claims to have at least 61 votes. President Pendarovski said that he considers the Parliament constituted and is expected to give the mandate by the end of the work week.

But people close to the SDSM party have opened the issue of whether the Parliament is really constituted, prompting concerns that the party may try to buy some more time while its leader Zoran Zaev is working to create a ruling coalition with the DUI party. Postponing the moment when Pendarovski gives the mandate would serve this purpose. Once the mandate is given, the holder has 20 days to form a Government, which is a time when the holder would be particularly exposed to blackmail from would-be coalition partners.

Outgoing Speaker Talat Xhaferi from DUI also said that he does not consider the Parliament constituted since no new Speaker was elected. SDSM and DUI will likely include this position in their haggling.