After Talat Xhaferi insisted that a failed presidential election would make him the acting President, the pro-Government Telma TV speculates that this move would reduce the ruling majority, as Xhaferi would be denied his vote in Parliament.

The presidential elections are on a knife edge – a turnout of at least 40 percent or 720.000 votes is required to elect a President, and in the first round this number was barely surpassed. One presidential candidate – Blerim Reka – who won 80.000 votes, drops out of the race and if a significant number of his supporters abstains, and if additional voting groups don’t step up, the election could fail. Some in the Albanian bloc are speculating that the Albanian parties might secretly push for a boycott in an attempt to make the former terrorist commander Xhaferi, whose irregular appointment as Speaker in 2017 sparked a major incident in the Parliament, as an interim President.

According to Telma, this would mean that Prime Minister Zoran Zaev will lose Xhaferi’s vote in Parliament, as he moves to the executive branch. Zaev was able to reach a two thirds majority to rename Macedonia, but this required the support of the opposition Albanian parties who would likely not support his Government or much of its policy agenda, and the support of nine blackmailed opposition members of Parliament, so losing even one vote could affect the stability of the coalition, especially if Zaev’s candidate Stevo Pendarovski wins less votes that the opposition candidate Gordana Siljanovska – Davkova.