In a late night session, the Parliament voted to approve the VMRO-DPMNE proposal to reorganize the Government. The two thirds majority was provided by representatives from DUI, who agreed to support the idea after a meeting with VMRO, in exchange for the creation of a Parliament commission that will review ethnic representation in the public administration.

After hours of debating, which SDSM and Levica used mostly to attack VMRO, the vote was held well past midnight and it was 88 votes in favor and 22 against. The law will create several new ministries and reorganize priorities of a number of others. VMRO wanted to changes adopted quickly, before its President Hristijan Mickoski can propose a new Government to the Parliament. Mickoski received the mandate from President Gordana Siljanovska earlier this week, and is now expected to move quickly to propose a Government with the Albanian VLEN and with ZNAM as his smaller coalition partners.

This is the first major victory for VMRO-DPMNE after the elections! We are implementing what we promised, with a huge majority. VMRO-DPMNE has never been stronger. Better days are coming for Macedonia, said VMRO Vice President Aleksandar Nikoloski after the vote took place.

SDSM official Slavjanka Petrovska, who is also running for leadership of the party, said that it is no longer clear “who is sitting in whose lap”, talking about the surprise decision by DUI to support the proposal. SDSM was desperately hoping that VMRO will not be able to form a coalition with any of the Albanian parties, and that this would leave SDSM as the only party that can lead the Government, but is now facing a situation where both Albanian blocs are eager to work with VMRO.

DUI was strongly critical of VMRO’s decision to pick VLEN as its Albanian coalition partner, and insists that only DUI has legitimacy to represent Albanian voters. But numerous rumors before the vote indicated that DUI was secretly pleading with VMRO to take them in the coalition, at worse terms than those offered to VLEN. Blerim Bexheti from DUI said that they and VMRO are the “legitimate powers” and that is why they are called to meet and work on issues, especially on issues that advance Albanian rights.

Levica was also considering voting in favor of the proposal – it demanded that VMRO agrees to changes of the electoral model and that the current six electoral districts are scrapped in favor of a single one – this would help smaller parties whose votes are lost when they are unable to pass the threshold to gain a seat in one of the six districts. Several smaller coalition partners from the SDSM led coalition also indicated their support for the proposal, as they are also apparently ready to work with VMRO.

The changes that were adopted make numerous reforms and rearrangements in the Government. The Economy Ministry will lose and gain a number of competencies – its energy and mining department will be made a whole new Government department. Its foreign trade unit will be assigned to the Foreign Ministry, and its tourism component will move to the Culture Ministry, but it will gain competencies in the area of labour, from the Labour and Welfare Ministry, that will be focused on welfare, youth and demographics. The chimera Ministry of Information Technology and Public Administration will be split it two. A new ministry of sports will be created. The Political System department built around DUI that essentially served as their party headquarters in Skopje, will now become a department working with other ethnic groups, besides Macedonians and Albanians.