Tuesday, July 11, 2006


Skopje, 10 July (AKI) - Macedonia's 36-year-old prime minister designate, Nicola Grueski, said on Monday his nationalist VMRO DPMNE party - which last week won the general election- has secured the working parliamentary majority he needs to form a government. He requires ethnic Albanian support to rule and has secured the support of the Democratic Party of Albanians (DPA). With backing from the DPA, the New Social Democratic Party and two deputies from minor parties, Grueski already has the support of 64 MPs in the 120-seat parliament and says he will announce his cabinet on 2 August - a bank holiday in Macedonia.

Grueski is still negotiating with another ethnic Albananian party, the Democratic Union for Integrations (DUI). This was a coalition partner in prime minister, Vlado Buckovski's outgoing government and is an arch-rival of the DPA in the contest for ethnic Albanian votes, which account for about 25 per cent of Macedonia’s two million population.

Grueski's move to get the support of the DUI as well as the DPA, is being seen as a move to neutralise quarrels between the two parties and satisfy the international community, according to observers.

Buckovski's Social Democratic Alliance of Macedonia won 32 deputies, compared with VMRO DPMNE's 44 seats, and will move to the opposition ranks. Gruevski said the in augural session of the new parliament will be held on 19 July.

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