FYROM’s (Macedonia) parliament has elected a new center-left coalition government led by former opposition leader Zoran Zaev, ending a six-month political stalemate.
Lawmakers voted 62-44 just before midnight Wednesday to confirm a 26-member Cabinet proposed by Zaev, who leads the Social Democrat party. Five lawmakers abstained and nine were absent.
Zaev was sworn in as prime minister by the parliament speaker immediately after the vote.
Zaev formed an alliance with two ethnic Albanian parties to control 62 of parliament’s 120 seats after his party finished second in December elections that produced a hung parliament.
The 42-year-old Zaev has pledged to focus on the economy, strengthening public institutions and joining the European Union and NATO. He wants to start negotiations with the EU and NATO “as soon as possible.”
Macedonia was granted EU candidate status in 2005. Neighboring Greece has blocked Macedonia’s accession to NATO due to a long-running dispute regarding Macedonia’s name, and has raised objections to its joining the EU.