Zoran Zaev retreated from his pledge to call for early elections after the loss of the promised June date to open accession talks. After the meeting of the Central Committee of his SDSM party, he announced that there will be no early elections.

We decided to continue with the process of reconstruction fo the Government and against holding early general elections, and also against the option that I return my mandate. The ratification of the NATO membership protocols is proceeding well, and we have assurances from EU member states that the European Council will reach agreement, we will hear the statements on June 21st, and also the Bundestag will complete the verification of the report in September and finally we will get the date in October, Zaev said.

A year ago he made a firm promise that the European Council will open the accession talks in June 2019. Now, with France and the Netherlands opposed to the opening of accession talks, Zaev is presenting the announcement that the German Parliament will discuss the issue in September as the final step to winning the approval to open accession talks.

Two or three months make no difference, Zaev said.

In response to Zaev’s announcement, VMRO-DPMNE member of Parliament Vladimir Gjorcev said that the opposition party is prepared to go to general elections at any time.

It is clear that Macedonia is stagnating. Our party is ready for early general elections, Gjorcev said.

The SDSM party also decided to appoint Justice Minister Renata Deskoska, Finance Minister Dragan Tevdovski, Frosina Remenski and Skopje Mayor Petre Silegov as new members of the Executive Committee. Additional EC members will be Stefan Bogoev, Kostadin Kostadinov, Tatjana Stojanovska Ivanova, Salija Ljatif Petrusovska and additional eight members from local party branches.

The appointments come after the purge of about 100 party officials, who Zaev blamed for the poor results in the first round of the presidential elections. Dusko Veskovski, who heads the Skopje water utility company, is the new Organizational Secretary of the party while Zaev’s adviser Dane Taleski is the new International Affairs Secretary.