N.Macedonia opposition seeks election after local poll sweep


Hristijan Mickoski, center, leader of the opposition VMRO-DPMNE party, is greeted by supporters during celebration of the victory on the local elections, at the party headquarters in Skopje, North Macedonia, late Sunday, Oct. 31, 2021. North Macedonia’s Prime Minister Zoran Zaev announced his resignation as prime minister and leader of Social-democratic Union after oppositional center-right coalition won a landslide victory on local elections. (AP Photo/Boris Grdanoski)

SKOPJE, North Macedonia (AP) — The leader of North Macedonia’s conservative opposition is calling for an early parliamentary election after scoring a sweeping victory in municipal polls that prompted the center-left prime minister to announce his resignation.

Hristijan Mickoski, who heads the main opposition VMRO-DPMNE party, told supporters early Monday that the governing Social Democrats had “lost legitimacy” and should call a snap election.

Social Democrat leader Zoran Zaev announced his resignation as prime minister late Sunday after his party lost municipal races in the capital Skopje and other cities.

Danela Arsovska, a conservative-backed lawyer and economist, is set to become the first female mayor of Skopje.

Official results are expected later Monday.

Zaev, who will also step down as party leader, favors talks to form a new government within the existing parliamentary mandate.

The 47-year-old Zaev said he would remain in office for “a short time” while the political negotiations were in progress.

The pro-Western Social Democrats won a narrow parliamentary election victory last year, forming a government with a multi-party coalition.

The next parliamentary election is not officially due until 2024.

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