Politics of 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[edit]

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[edit]

Main office holders
Office Name Party Since
President Stevo Pendarovski SDSM 12 May 2019
Acting Prime Minister Oliver Spasovski SDSM 3 January 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[edit]

Coat of arms of the President of North Macedonia
  • cannot hold any other public office or position in a political party
  • is elected for a 5-year term and can serve a maximum of two terms
  • is Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and President of the Security Council
  • nominates a candidate from the majority party or parties in the Assembly who then proposes the Government who are elected by the Assembly
  • makes diplomatic appointments and some judicial and Security Council appointments
  • grants decorations, honours and pardons[4]

The Government[edit]

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.


  • cannot be Representatives in the Assembly
  • cannot hold any other public office or follow a profession while in office
  • are elected by a majority vote in the Assembly
  • are granted immun
  • cannot be called for service in the Armed Forces
  • propose laws, budget and regulations to be adopted by the Assembly
  • control diplomatic policy
  • make other state appointments[4]

Current Cabinet[edit]

The current cabinet is a coalition of SDSM, the Democratic Union for Integration, the New Social Democratic Party, Liberal Democratic Party, Alliance for Albanians, 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
Nina Angelovska Minister of Finance
Hasbi Lika Deputy Prime Minister in charge of Framework Agreement Implementation Coat of arms of the Republic of Macedonia - grey.svg
Koco Angjusev Deputy Prime Minister in charge of Economic Affairs Coat of arms of the Republic of Macedonia - grey.svg
Bujar Osmani Deputy Prime Minister in charge of European Integration Coat of arms of the Republic of Macedonia - grey.svg
Nikola Dimitrov Minister of Foreign Affairs Logo na MNR.svg
Radmila Sekerinska Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense
Oliver Spasovski Minister of Internal Affairs
Renata Deskoska Minister of Justice Coat of arms of the Republic of Macedonia - grey.svg
Goran Sugareski 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
Trajan Dimkovski Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Watersupply 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
Arbr Ademi Minister of Education and Science Coat of arms of the Republic of Macedonia - grey.svg
Damjan Mancevski 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
Hysni Ismaili Minister of Culture Logo na Ministerstvo za kultura.svg
Mila Carovska 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
Zoran Jolevski Special Envoy and Chief Negotiator of the Macedonia name dispute Coat of arms of the Republic of Macedonia - grey.svg

Legislative branch[edit]

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 - VRMO-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%

2016 election result[edit]

Party Votes % Seats +/–
VMRO-DPMNE coalition 454,577 39.39 51 −10
Social Democratic Union coalition 436,981 37.87 49 +15
Democratic Union for Integration 86,796 7.52 10 −9
Besa Movement 57,868 5.01 5 New
"Alliance for the Albanians" coalition 35,121 3.04 3 New
Democratic Party of Albanians 30,964 2.68 2 −5
"VMRO for Macedonia" coalition 24,524 2.13 0 New
The Left 12,120 1.05 0 New
"CCJ–Third Block" coalition 10,028 0.87 0 New
Liberal Party 3,840 0.33 0 0
Party for Democratic Prosperity 1,143 0.10 0 0
Invalid/blank votes 37,870
Total 1,191,832 100 120 −3
Registered voters/turnout 1,784,416 66.79
Source: SEC

Judicial branch[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]


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.[5] 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.[6]

See also[edit]


  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. ^ Makfax Agency United States of America congratulate President Ivanov on his inauguration and are looking forward to continuing of the excellent relations with Macedonia
  6. ^ "Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China". Archived from the original on 26 July 2012. Retrieved 19 February 2015.