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News 13 Jun 13

Former PM Launches New Movement in Macedonia

Vlado Buckovski has announced the formation of the Civil Announce for Positive Macedonia, a political movement with an ambition to become a fully fledged political party.

Sinisa Jakov Marusic
Vlado Buckovski

Buckovski, who until recently was an outspoken member of the main opposition Social Democrats, SDSM, says the aim of the new movement, to be formed later this month, is to bring together Macedonia’s divided society.

“The orientation will be civil and liberal. We will aim to reconcile Macedonia, not just Macedonians and Albanians, but Macedonians between themselves who are divided like never before,” Buckovski said.

The official launch date of the movement is set for June 26.

Sources close to Buckovski decline to reveal which prominent politicians or public figures will take part in it.

They say their aim for now will be to function as an opposition and an alternative both to the centre-right ruling VMRO DPMNE party of Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski and the opposition Social Democrats, led by Zoran Zaev.

“We plan to open offices for direct contact with the people in many places across the country. As the membership swells we will transform into a political party,” the source told Balkan Insight.

Buckovski succeeded the longstanding SDSM leader Branko Crvenkovski as Prime Minister and leader of the Social Democrats in 2004, when Crvenkovski became head of state.

He remained at the two posts until 2006, when the party lost the general election to VMRO DPMNE.

But since Crvenkovski’s presidential term expired in 2009, when he returned to lead the opposition, Buckovski has been his stern critic.

He maintains that under Crvenkovski’s leadership the party stifled different opinions and failed to transform itself into a serious critic of the executive. He was expelled from the Social Democrats last December.

Another former prominent, later expelled, member of the SDSM, Stevce Jakimovski, also recently formed a new opposition party, called GROM.

Analysts expect the two parties to ally together and possibly try to supplant SDSM as the main opposition force in the country.

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