Sources informed of the talks between SDSM and DUI inform Republika that the balance of power is such that DUI is able to extract maximum concessions fron SDSM. DUI won 15 seats in the Parliament positioning itself as a crucial partner for SDSM, which has 46 – counting the votes of its partner BESA, which would mean that together they would have the bare minimum needed to form a Government.

Even though before the elections SDSM leader Zoran Zaev called DUI “worthless” and mocked their election slogan “Why not an Albanian Prime Minister?” saying “Why not send DUI in the opposition?”, he is now forced to accept most of their demands. The two parties denied that they already reached agreement under which DUI would appoint an Albanian Prime Minister for one year of the four year term, but if this fails, DUI is still expected to get major concessions from Zaev.

These including giving the powerful Interior Affairs Ministry to DUI, a party that was borne out of a terrorist movement that fought the Macedonian police in 2001 and has a lengthy corruption track record. The Albanian party also demanded control over the UJP tax authority and the Central Bank, another position that no Albanian has held before and which would be important to reprint the currency bilingually, using the Albanian language along with the Macedonian.

SDSM yesterday said that the coalition talks are in the phase where specific positions in the departments are being discussed. Meanwhile, VMRO-DPMNE announced it will challenge Zaev’s mandate to form a Government before the Constitutional Court. President Pendarovski gave his political ally Zaev the mandate despite the fact that he doesn’t have the majority in Parliament, which is the main pre-requisite for receiving the mandate.