Gordana Siljanovska – Davkova was sworn in today as Macedonia’s sixth President since its independence. The ceremony was marked by her decision not to utter the imposed name “North Macedonia” – as the Speaker of Parliament Jovan Mitreski, from the pro-name change SDSM party, used the loathed adjective in the oath of office, Siljanovska ignored it, and used the name – Macedonia.

The imposed name is contained in the official documents of the inauguration. Greek Ambassador to Macedonia, Sophia Philippidou, left the inauguration in protest, as she was previously instructed to do by the Foreign Ministry, reported the Greek press, which is ramping up its reporting on Macedonia after the major victory by VMRO-DPMNE in the general elections and the VMRO candidate Siljanovska in the presidential elections.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen tweeted out a comment, saying that “For (North) Macedonia to continue its successful path on EU accession it is paramount that the country continues on the path of reforms and full respect for its binding agreements, including the Prespa Agreement”. Macedonia has been stuck in its accession talks even after the imposed name change, as first France, and then Bulgaria, placed vetoes and except from the technical screening process, no progress has been made in the period when the DUI – SDSM led Government obediently followed the Prespa Treaty.

In her remarks, President Siljanovska did not address the dispute with Greece and Bulgaria directly. She said that she will “respect this Parliament, I will forget the bad moments and remember only the good ones. I will be President of those who sit on the left and on those on the right, of all citizens regardless of their ethnic, gender, religious or other belonging. I will try to justify the thousands of votes that were the best present I could receive for my birthday”, Siljanovska said, while expressing gratitude to VMRO-DPMNE President Hristijan Mickoski and all the women leaders in Macedonia who came before her.

Outgoing Justice Minister Krenar Loga, who is currently affiliated with a DUI led coalition, accused Siljanovska of breaking the oath of office, and insisted that her oath is invalid. DUI spokesman Arbr Ademi also accused President Siljanovska of violating the Constitution, that was famously ammended with arrests, blackmail and bribery of opposition members of Parliament.

Siljanovska today also assumed the Villa Vodno presidential office, which outgoing President Stevo Pendarovski vacated after a brief ceremony. Siljanovska and Pendarovski had a courtesy meeting in the office.

Besides Greece, Bulgaria is also ramping up its rhetoric following the VMRO victory in Macedonia, and in the anticipation of the elections in Bulgaria. Boyko Borisov, whose GERB party is expected to win the elections, urged Hristijan Mickoski to “watch his comments”. The Bulgarian veto predictably made the elections in Macedonia revolve largely around the dispute with Bulgaria, with VMRO refusing the Bulgarian demands for constitutional changes, while SDSM and DUI accepting them. Borisov said that the heated rhetoric spread to the Bulgarian politicians as well, and that it is now time to toen it down.