Week in Review: Rising Temperatures, Risky Games
As North Macedonia's Parliamentary elections approach on April 12th, the political battle is becoming more heated and more interesting. Post-election coalitions between ethnic Macedonian and ethnic Albanian parties are nothing new in North Macedonia; on the contrary, they have been the bedrock of most governments since independence. Typically, the biggest party representing ethnic Macedonians forms a government with the biggest party representing the country's ethnic Albanians.
However, a pre-election coalition between the ruling SDSM and BESA, a small opposition ethnic Albanian party, is threatening to undermine this well-established system. The SDSM is trying to build a more cross-ethnic base of support and pull decisively ahead of the VMRO-DPMNE. Through its alliance with BESA, it is also signalling that it would like to get rid of DUI, the dominant ethnic Albanian party for two decades, as its coalition partner. Another opposition ethnic Albanian coalition is also assailing DUI's voter base. In this heated battle, the race for who will come out on top among ethnic Albanian parties is almost as uncertain as the race for votes within the ethnic Macedonian block.
Read more: Battle Heats Up For Albanian 'Crown' in North Macedonia (March 9, 2020)
Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic. Photo: EPA-EFE/ANTONIO BAT.
After a presidential election at the turn of the year in which its candidate, Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic, suffered an unexpected defeat, the HDZ finds itself trailing in opinion polls ahead of Parliamentary elections in the second half of the year. Even worse, the party is now locked into a 'fratricidal war', as internal leadership elections are due to take place in March.
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