Next North Macedonia PM refers to country as ‘Macedonia’ in parliament

Hristijan Mickoski, the leader of the opposition conservative VMRO-DPMNE party, speaks during a celebration on the main square after their party announced victory in the presidential and parliamentary elections, in Skopje, North Macedonia, May 9, 2024. [Boris Grdanoski/AP Photo]

North Macedonia's prime minister-in-waiting has referred to his county as "Macedonia" three times at the start of a two-day parliamentary debate leading up to a vote on his new government.

Hristijan Mickoski, a 46-year-old former engineering professor, has pledged to continue his center-left predecessors' efforts to shepherd the small Balkan NATO member into the European Union.

But Mickoski's more nationalist tone could alienate neighboring Bulgaria and Greece, both EU members with the power to hinder his country's accession to the 27-nation bloc.

Mickoski is expected to win Sunday's vote easily, having secured the support of 78 lawmakers in the 120-seat house.

His VMRO-DPMNE party heads a coalition that gained just over 43% of the vote in the May 8 elections, winning 58 seats - three short of a governing majority. Mickoski struck a coalition deal with...

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