North Macedonia PM calls for early elections after denied EU accession talk

Skopje, Oct 20 North Macedonia Prime Minister Zoran Zaev has said that early elections should be held as soon as possible after the European Union (EU) refused to give date for the start of the country’s accession negotiations.

His announcement came after France’s opposition denied a start date for EU accession talks to North Macedonia and fellow Balkan state Albania, following several days of wrangling at the European Council.

He insisted that now was the time for the key decision about the future course of the country to be delegated to voters.

He said he would put forward this position at Sunday’s scheduled meeting between top political party leaders at the presidential office.

“We do not have time to lose. My suggestion is organizing early elections as soon as possible. Elections on which the citizens will come up with decision and confirmation of the path that the country should be moving on. Towards the true path of European values or towards the dark path of division and conflicts,” Zaev said at a press conference on Saturday.

“Citizens must decide which path we will take in the future – the correct, progressive European path, the path of reforms, or the path that leads backwards, towards isolation, nationalism, conflicts,” he added.

His demand for early elections comes one day after the European Council did not grant start of accession negotiations for EU membership for North Macedonia. The EU will return to the enlargement issues in May next year.

“EU did not deliver what was promised to us. We have finished all our obligations… I’m disappointed and angry and I know that all people feel the same. I take the disappointment of my people upon my back and I must say that the European dream of Macedonian people will not be crushed,” Zaev said.

Zaev, who signed the Prespa Agreement for changing the country’s name in order to solve the decades long name issue with Greece for the sake of joining in the EU, said that he was also thinking of resigning but at the end decided that he should not stopped fighting for European future.

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