After Zoran Zaev called out Ali Ahmeti, telling him that he can’t become Prime Minister holding just 15 seats in Parliament, Ahmeti shot back, reminding Zaev that he also can’t become Prime Minister with only 46 seats.

These were the opening salvos of the coalition talks, that began in earnest after the Parliament was convened today. Zaev held a press conference in which he lambasted the critical press and sent out a warning to Ahmeti not to get carried away in his demands during the talks, telling him he only holds 15 seats. Ahmeti demanded that the next Prime Minister is an ethnic Albanian and made this a condition for his talks with the two winning parties, VMRO-DPMNE and SDSM, who were virtually tied in the elections and need Ahmeti’s votes to be able to get to the 61 votes they need.

After Zaev made his remarks, Ahmeti indicated that he is not in a hurry to crown the next coalition and, in an interview with Koha, stated that “you can’t become Prime Minister with 46 seats either”.

In this situation all sides need to be calm, to show wisdom and think about the highest interests of the country. I can freely say that DUI is a factor of stability in the country. We will analyze the situation carefully and we won’t be in a hurry. Every step we make is in the interest of the state, of peace, stability and advancing the higher processes, such as the Ohrid and Prespa treaties and the treaty with Bulgaria, the implementation of the languages law and the fight against crime and corruption. We mustn’t avoid the vetting process either, Ahmeti said, referring to the proposal from VMRO-DPMNE to investigate the inexplicable wealth of top politicians, a process in which Zaev and his family are prime candidates for “vetting”.