North Macedonia Caretaker PM Vows to Honour People’s Trust

After his caretaker cabinet was approved on Friday, Oliver Spasovski - who has taken over as acting Prime Minister of North Macedonia - says he is up to "meeting citizens' expectations" and ensuring the April 12 early general elections pass off without a major hitch.

Managing a caretaker government that is led by the governing Social Democrats but in which some key posts are held by the opposition would pose a challenge, Spasovski told BIRN.

"Sure, the management [of the cabinet] will be harder, but that's not a reason to give up," he said, adding that the challenge only made him feel more motivated.

Spasovski said his goals would be to continue the reforms launched by his predecessor, Zoran Zaev, realise projects for economic development and ensure fair and democratic elections in April.

"I expect the opposition representatives in the government to be equally devoted to these interests," Spasovski said.

The formation of the caretaker government and the inclusion of opposition ministers and deputy ministers in several key posts stems from the so-called Przino political agreement of 2015.

Amid a deep political crisis, the main parties then agreed that 100 days ahead of every general election, a caretaker government would be established to ensure a fair vote and remove doubts about ballot-rigging and political pressures.

Under the deal, the post of prime minister remains with the ruling party. However, the main centre-right opposition VMRO DPMNE party now runs the Interior Ministry, the Social Policies Ministry and several other posts.

Before becoming caretaker Prime Minister, Spasovski served as the Interior Minister in Zaev's government. He was also a caretaker Interior Minister in the previous caretaker government,...

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