Politics of North Macedonia

Social Democratic Union of Macedonia Stevo Pendarovski North Macedonia

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Politics in North Macedonia occur within the framework of a parliamentary representative democratic republic, whereby the Prime Minister is the head of government, and of a multi-party system. Executive power is exercised by the government. Legislative power is vested in both the government and parliament. The Judiciary is independent of the executive and the legislature. The Economist Intelligence Unit rated North Macedonia a "hybrid regime" in 2019.[1]

Political system

North Macedonia's six electoral constituencies

The political system of North Macedonia consists of three branches: Legislative, Executive and Judicial. The Constitution is the highest law of the country.[2] The political institutions are constituted by the will of its citizens by secret ballot at direct and general elections. Its political system of parliamentary democracy was established with the Constitution of 1991, which stipulates the basic principles of democracy and guarantees democratic civil freedom. The Elections for Representatives in the Assembly of North Macedonia is held in October. The Assembly is composed of 123 Representatives, who are elected for a period of four years. Out of this number, 120 are elected proportionally in 6 constituencies of 20 each, and 3 according to the majority principle, specifically for the diaspora (depending on turnout) (the territory of the Republic of North Macedonia representing one constituency). There are approximately 1.5 million voters registered in the General Electoral Roll for the election of Representatives in the Assembly of North Macedonia in 2.973 polling stations. The voting for the representatives is conducted according to the list system.[3]


Executive branch

Main office holders
Office Name Party Since
President Stevo Pendarovski SDSM 12 May 2019
Prime Minister Zoran Zaev SDSM 30 August 2020

Although in Macedonian, these roles have very similar titles (Претседател на Република Северна Македонија "President of the Republic of North Macedonia" and Претседател на Владата на Република Северна Македонија "President of the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia") it is much less confusing to refer to them in English as President and Prime Minister respectively. These are also the terms used in the English translation of the constitution.

The President

Coat of arms of the President of North Macedonia

The Government

The power of the President is fairly limited with all other executive power being vested in what the Constitution describes as the Government, i.e., the Prime Minister and Ministers.


Current Cabinet

The current cabinet is a coalition of SDSM, the Democratic Union for Integration, the New Social Democratic Party, Liberal Democratic Party, Party for the Full Emancipation of the Roma of Macedonia, and the Party for the Movement of Turks in Macedonia. The members of the Cabinet of North Macedonia are chosen by the Prime Minister and approved by the national Parliament, however certain cabinet level positions are chosen by both President and Prime Minister, and approved by the Parliament.

Member Portfolio Logo
Zoran Zaev Prime Minister
Artan Grubi Deputy Prime Minister in charge of Framework Agreement Implementation Coat of arms of the Republic of Macedonia - grey.svg
Fatmir Bitiki Deputy Prime Minister in charge of Economic Affairs Coat of arms of the Republic of Macedonia - grey.svg
Nikola Dimitrov Deputy Prime Minister in charge of European Integration Coat of arms of the Republic of Macedonia - grey.svg
Bujar Osmani Minister of Foreign Affairs Logo na MNR.svg
Radmila Sekerinska Minister of Defense
Oliver Spasovski Minister of Internal Affairs
Fatmir Besimi Minister of Finance
Bojan Maricik Minister of Justice Coat of arms of the Republic of Macedonia - grey.svg
Blagoja Bochvarski Minister of Transport and Communication Coat of arms of the Republic of Macedonia - grey.svg
Kreshnik Bekteshi Minister of Economy Coat of arms of the Republic of Macedonia - grey.svg
Arianit Hoxha Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Supply Coat of arms of the Republic of Macedonia - grey.svg
Venko Filipce Minister of Health Coat of arms of the Republic of Macedonia - grey.svg
Mila Carovska Minister of Education and Science Coat of arms of the Republic of Macedonia - grey.svg
Jeton Shaqiri Minister of Information Society and Administration Coat of arms of the Republic of Macedonia - grey.svg
Goran Milevski Minister of Local Self-Government Coat of arms of the Republic of Macedonia - grey.svg
Irena Stefoska Minister of Culture Logo na Ministerstvo za kultura.svg
Jagoda Shahpaska Minister of Labor and Social Policy Coat of arms of the Republic of Macedonia - grey.svg
Naser Nuredini Minister of Environment and Physical Planning Coat of arms of the Republic of Macedonia - grey.svg
Elvin Hasan Minister without Portfolio for Attracting foreign investment Coat of arms of the Republic of Macedonia - grey.svg
Bardul Dauti Minister without Portfolio Coat of arms of the Republic of Macedonia - grey.svg
Zoran Sapuric Minister without Portfolio to improve investment climate for domestic enterprises Coat of arms of the Republic of Macedonia - grey.svg
Zorica Apostolska Minister without Portfolio Coat of arms of the Republic of Macedonia - grey.svg
Anita Angelovska-Bezhoska Governor of the National Bank of the Republic of North Macedonia
Ljupco Shvrgovski Attorney General Coat of arms of the Republic of Macedonia - grey.svg
Vasko Gjurcinovski Chief of the General Staff of the Army of the Republic of North Macedonia Logo of the Army of the Republic of Macedonia.svg

Legislative branch

The Assembly (Sobranie) has 120 members, elected for a four-year term, by proportional representation. There are between 120 and 140 seats, currently there are 120; members are directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by closed list proportional representation vote. There is a possibility of three people being directly elected in diaspora constituencies by a simple majority vote provided there is sufficient voter turnout. The last election to be held was on 11 December 2016, with a second round held in one polling station on 25 December 2016. The next election is to be held in 2020. The result of this election was as follows: percent of vote by party/coalition - VMRO-DPMNE 38.1%, SDSM coalition 36.7%, BDI 7.3%, Besa Movement 4.9%, AfA 3.1%, PDSh 2.7%, other 7.2%; seats by party - VMRO-DPMNE 51, SDSM coalition 49, BDI 10, Besa Movement 5, AfA 3, PDSh 2; note - the 3 seats for diaspora went unfilled because none of the candidates won the 6,500 minimum vote threshold. Seats by party/coalition as of May 2019 - ruling coalition 68 (SDSM coalition 49, BDI 10, Besa Movement 3, PDSh 2, other 5), opposition coalition 52 (VMRO-DPMNE coalition 48, Besa Movement 2, AfA 2); composition - men 75, women 45, percent of women 37.5%

2020 election result

The election resulted in an extremely divided parliament, with the pro-EU SDSM-led coalition winning a plurality of votes and seats. The nationalist conservative VMRO-DPMNE-led coalition came as a close second, lagging behind by only two seats and less than 1.5% of the vote. The BDI and the Alliance for Albanians–Alternativa coalition, both representing the ethnic Albanian minority, saw large gains. The Left, a socialist party, entered parliament for the first time with two seats, and the Democratic Party of Albanians lost one seat. Turnout was down roughly 15 percentage points mainly due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Results in the 2020 North Macedonian parliamentary election[5]
Sobranie MK 2020-2.svg
Party Votes % Seats +/–
We Can (SDSM and others)[a] 327,408 35.89 46 –8
Renewal (VMRO-DPMNE and others)[b] 315,344 34.57 44 –7
Democratic Union for Integration 104,699 11.48 15 +5
Alliance for Albanians–Alternative 81,620 8.95 12 +9
The Left 37,426 4.10 2 +2
Democratic Party of Albanians 13,930 1.53 1 –1
Integra – Macedonian Conservative Party 12,291 1.35 0 New
Civic Democratic Union 3,555 0.39 0 New
MORO – Workers Party 3,245 0.36 0 0
Voice for Macedonia 2,802 0.31 0 New
Never North, Only Macedonia 2,604 0.29 0 0
Social Democratic Union Skopje 2,585 0.28 0 0
Your Party 1,894 0.21 0 New
Democrats 1,558 0.17 0 New
Roma People's Party 1,225 0.13 0 New
Invalid/blank votes 31,564
Total 943,750 100 120 0
Registered voters/turnout 1,814,263 52.02

Judicial branch

Judiciary power is exercised by courts, with the court system being headed by the Judicial Supreme Court, Constitutional Court and the Republican Judicial Council. The assembly appoints the judges, of which there are 22 in the Supreme Court, and 9 in the Constitutional Court. Supreme Court judges nominated by the Judicial Council, a 7-member body of legal professionals, and appointed by the Assembly; Constitutional Court judges appointed by the Assembly for nonrenewable, 9-year terms

Administrative divisions

With the passage of a new law and elections held in 2005, local government functions are divided between 78 municipalities (општини, opštini; singular: општина, opština. The capital, Skopje, is governed as a group of ten municipalities collectively referred to as "the City of Skopje". Municipalities in North Macedonia are units of local self-government. Neighbouring municipalities may establish cooperative arrangements.

Ethnic diversity

The country's main political divergence is between the largely ethnically-based political parties representing the country's Macedonian majority and Albanian minority. The issue of the power balance between the two communities led to a brief war in 2001, following which a power-sharing agreement was reached. In August 2004, the Republic's parliament passed legislation redrawing local boundaries and giving greater local autonomy to ethnic Albanians in areas where they predominate.

Foreign relations


Most notable relations with other countries include: Greece, China the US and Kosovo amongst others.


North Macedonia and Greece have excellent economic and business relations, with Greece being the largest investor in the country. Until the Prespa Agreement (2018), the indeterminate status of North Macedonia's former name arose from a long-running dispute with Greece. The main points of the dispute were: The flag: the use of Vergina Sun, a Greek state symbol, on the initial national flag used between 1992 and 1995 Constitutional issues: certain articles of the constitution that were seen as claims on Greek territory. The naming issue was "parked" in a compromise agreed at the United Nations in 1993. However, Greece refused to grant diplomatic recognition to the Republic and imposed an economic blockade that lasted until the flag and constitutional issues were resolved in 1995. The naming issue was resolved with the Prespa Agreement, signed in 2018, and entered into force in February 2019.


The United States and North Macedonia enjoy excellent bilateral relations.[6] The United States formally recognised North Macedonia on 8 February 1994, and the two countries established full diplomatic relations on 13 September 1995. The U.S. Liaison Office was upgraded to an embassy in February 1996, and the first U.S. Ambassador to Skopje arrived in July 1996. The development of political relations between the United States and North Macedonia has ushered in a whole host of other contacts between the two states. In 2004, the United States recognised the country under its constitutional name of that time – Republic of Macedonia.


On 12 October 1993, the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia and the Government of the People's Republic of China (PRC) established diplomatic relations with North Macedonia expressly declaring that the Government of the PRC is the sole legal government of China, and Taiwan as an inalienable part of the Chinese territory. The Government of North Macedonia affirmed it would not establish any form of official relations with Taiwan.[7]

See also


  1. ^ also includes the BESA, the VMRO–NP, the DPT, the New Social Democratic Party (NSDP), the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), the Party for a European Future (PEI), the United Party for Roma Equality (OPER), the Party for the Movement of Turks in Macedonia (PDT), the Democratic Union of Vlachs in Macedonia (DSVM), New Alternative (NA), the Party for Economic Changes 21 (PEP 21), the Party for Social and Economic Progress (POEN), the Democratic Union (DS), the Political Party “Dignity” (PPD), the Serbian Party in Macedonia (SSM), the Democratic League of Bosniaks, the Party of Pensioners (PP), the Party for Democratic Prosperity of the Roma (PDPR), Democratic Renewal of Macedonia (DOM), United for Macedonia (OM), the Party for the Full Emancipation of the Roma of Macedonia (CERRNM), and the Union of Roma in Macedonia
  2. ^ includes Citizen Option for Macedonia (GROM), the Movement for Turkish National Union, the Democratic Party of Serbs in Macedonia, the Democratic Party of the Roma, the Democratic Forces of the Roma, Macedonian Action (MAAK), the New Liberal Party, the Party of the Vlachs from Macedonia, the Party of United Democrats of Macedonia, the United Party of the Roma in Macedonia, the Workers’ Agricultural Party of Macedonia, the Socialist Party of Macedonia, the Serbian Progressive Party, the Party of Democratic Action of Macedonia, the Union of Tito’s Left Forces, Roma Integration Party, and Democratic Bosniak Party, as well as the independent candidates Adnan Arsovski and Adnan Kahil


  1. ^ The Economist Intelligence Unit (8 January 2019). "Democracy Index 2019". Economist Intelligence Unit. Retrieved 13 January 2019.
  2. ^ "Republic of Macedonia Constitution".
  3. ^ Macedonian Political System Archived 23 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ a b Constitution of the Republic of Macedonia Archived 28 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ State Election Commission
  6. ^ Makfax Agency United States of America congratulate President Ivanov on his inauguration and are looking forward to continuing of the excellent relations with Macedonia
  7. ^ "Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China". Archived from the original on 26 July 2012. Retrieved 19 February 2015.