Zoran Zaev

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Zoran Zaev
Зоран Заев
Leader of the Opposition
Assumed office
2 June 2013
Preceded by Branko Crvenkovski
Personal details
Born (1974-10-08) 8 October 1974 (age 42)
Strumica, Yugoslavia
(now Macedonia)
Political party Social Democratic Union
Alma mater University of Skopje

Zoran Zaev (Macedonian: Зоран Заев; born 8 October 1974 in Strumica) is the political leader of the Social Democratic Union of Macedonia (SDSM) and the leader of opposition in the Republic of Macedonia.[1] He is also mayor of the Strumica Municipality, re-elected in the 2013 local elections.[2] He was elected as president of SDSM by receiving the majority of votes in the 14th Macedonian Social Democratic Congress, held on 2 June 2013.[3] In his political career he has been a member of the Macedonian Assembly from 2003 to 2005, in 2005 he was first elected as mayor of Strumica, and in 2008 he became the vice president of the Social Democratic Union of Macedonia.[4]

Zoran Zaev is a member of the SDSM since 1996. For two mandates he has been elected as the president of the regional administration of the party in the Strumica region.[5]

On 1 September 2008 he was placed in the position of vice president of the party.[6] In the 2009 local elections Zaev was elected for his second mandate as mayor of Strumica. In 2013, after Branko Crvenkovski stepped down from the leader's position in SDSM, Zaev was elected as the party's president.

Coup charges[edit]

On 31 January 2015, Zaev was charged with "conspiring with a foreign intelligence service to topple the government",[7] and a foreign diplomat was also allegedly involved in the alleged attempted coup d'état.[8][9]

In February 2015, Zaev accused Macedonian prime minister Nikola Gruevski of wiretapping and illegally spying on at least 20,000 people. The government, on the other hand, accused Zaev of blackmailing Gruevski and detained five people in connection with that case.[10]

Zoran Zaev as main opposition leader took part in a meeting on June 2, 2015 with Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski and EU enlargement commissioner Johannes Hahn, in order to overcome a deep political crisis since January 2015. The meeting resulted in the Pržino Agreement. The political leaders agreed to hold early elections on June 5, 2016.

In early April 2016 he announced that his party would boycott the next parliamentary election due to a lack of government reforms which he believes are necessary.[11]


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