The DUI party, which is practically the dominant partner in the coalition with SDSM, announced that it will nominate Parliament Speaker Talat Xhaferi as interim Prime Minister.

DUI expects the right to appoint a Prime Minister for the last 100 days of the Government – which is part of the deal its leader Ali Ahmeti reached with Zoran Zaev after the inconclusive 2020 elections. Xhaferi is a former army officer who deserted and joined the UCK terrorist group during the 2001 civil war. He Government minister and member of Parliament before SDSM and DUI nominated him as Speaker in 2017, during the political crisis that followed the Colored Revolution. His irregular election as Speaker sparked a major incident in the Parliament.

He has been a loyal DUI party soldier in Parliament, towing the line of the DUI – SDSM coalition. At the moment it’s not clear whether the coalition will try to elect a new Speaker of Parliament – if not, it’s possible that for a brief period of time Xhaferi holds all three main positions in the country – given that Macedonia also holds presidential elections in 2024.

Xhaferi refused initiatives to hold a referendum, he placed himself in the position of both supreme and constitutional court member, and he used the European flag fast-track procedure for harmful laws which DUI and SDS employed to steal from the citizens. Just as Kovacevski deserted from the army in 2001, so did Talat Xhaferi, and now one deserter will be replaced with another, reacted the VMRO-DPMNE party on the news of Xhaferi’s nomination.

If all goes according to the plan between the two ruling parties, Dimitar Kovacevski will resign as Prime Minister and Xhaferi will assume the position on January 28th. VMRO should assume several important positions in the Government, to ensure that the administration is not abused for political goals by SDSM and DUI. VMRO offered to give up these nominations if SDSM breaks its deal with DUI and does not appoint an interim Prime Minister. VMRO cited the extreme levels of corruption in DUI as reason why this party should never hold the office of Prime Minister, but Kovacevski responded by blaming the opposition of refusing to see an ethnic Albanian named as Prime Minister.