Short for SP by Abbreviationfinder, the Republic of Northern Macedonia is a parliamentary democracy. Two major political issues dominated after independence in 1991: the strained relations between the two dominant peoples groups and a dispute with Greece over the name of Macedonia. The first question has decreased in importance and the latter has been resolved as the country changed its name to Northern Macedonia in February 2019.
The head of state is the president of the republic, who is elected in direct elections for a five-year term and can be re-elected. In order for the election to be valid, turnout must be at least 40 percent. The government exercises executive power, but in practice the president can have great influence over politics.
- Countryaah: Total population and chart of Macedonia for years of 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023 and 2024. Also covers population density, birth rate, death rate and population growth rates.
The legislative power resides with the single-chamber parliament, sobranie, whose members are elected through proportional elections. Parliament has at least 120 members. Since 2011, another 3 members can be elected by foreign donations. However, in order for these seats to be filled, a certain minimum number of voting participants is required, and in the 2016 election too few overseas donations participated in order for the seats to be filled. The term of office is four years. The voting age and eligibility age is 18 years. By law, the government must be dissolved 100 days before an election, and a politically neutral government will rule during the transition period.
The constitution adopted at independence in 1991 has been amended on several important points: first in 1995 to meet the wishes of neighboring Greece with regard to the country’s name and flag (see Foreign Policy and Defense), since 2001 through the so-called Ohrid agreement to meet the demands of the country Albanian minority on increased political and civil rights (see Modern History).
Administratively, Northern Macedonia is divided into municipalities. In accordance with the Ohrid agreement, 123 municipalities were merged into 84 in 2004, giving the Albanians increased local influence. A merger of four municipalities reduced the number to 81 in 2013.
Northern Macedonia since independence in 1991, been ruled by coalition governments with the two major parties alternating in the lead: either the Slavic-dominated right-wing party Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization-Democratic Party for Macedonian National Unity (Vnatrešno-Macedonian Revolucion are Organizacija-Demokratska Partija za Makedonsko Nacionalno Edinstvo, VMRO-DPMNE) or the Socialist Alliance of Macedonia (Socijaldemokratski Sojuz na Makedonije, SDSM), which emerged from the former Yugoslav Communist Party.
Some of the Albanian-dominated parties have always been part of the government coalitions. The largest of them has been the Democratic Union for Integration since 2002 (Bashkimi Democracy by Integrim / Democratic Unija za Integracija, BDI / DUI). Prior to that, the Albanian Democratic Party (Partia Demokratike Shqiptare / Democratic Partija na Albancite, PDSH / DPA) was the largest representative of the country’s Albanians.
In 2015, two new Albanian parties were formed: the PDSH Reform Movement (Lëvizja për Reforma PDSH, LR-PDSH) by PDSH outbreaks and the Besa Movement (Lëvizja Besa) by some Albanian intellectuals. LR-PDSH later merged with two smaller Albanian parties in the Alliance of Albanians (Aleanca për Shqiptarët).
Politics is characterized by tensions between Macedonians and Albanians, but also by contradictions between and within the major parties, and outbreaks have occurred. At the same time, all parties in politics have shown some restraint in order to avoid the country falling apart. Since 2014, a conflict between the two largest parties (VMRO-DPMNE and SDSM) has often crippled all the work in Parliament and led to repeated popular demonstrations.
Macedonia recognizes Kosovo
Despite protests from Serbia, Macedonia (together with Montenegro) recognizes the outbreak of the Kosovo Republic, which in February 2008 unilaterally proclaimed itself an independent state.
The ruling party wins parliamentary elections
Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski’s Macedonian-nationalist center-right party VMRO-DPMNE wins the parliamentary election, which is however surrounded by violence and electoral fraud. Partial Alliance For a Better Macedonia, dominated by VMRO-DPMNE, gets 49 percent of the vote against 24 percent for the Social Democrats Coalition for Europe. Gruevski chooses a government collaboration with BDI, which again became the largest Albanian party with 13 percent of the vote.
Greek veto against NATO membership
At the NATO summit, Greece vetoes a Macedonian NATO membership because of disagreement over the name of Macedonia, which Greece considers to be important to a Greek province of the same name.