Analysis 26 May 17

Macedonia Faces Long Road to Recovery After Gruevski

New government faces a daunting task of rebuilding institutions, financial consolidation and curbing widespread corruption, if it is to live upto its reformist promises.

Sinisa Jakov Marusic
 Macedonia's Prime Minister-designate, Zoran Zaev. Photo: MIA

After 11 years of rule by Nikola Gruevski's right-wing VMRO DPMNE party, Macedonia’s new government takes over a country that is deeply shaken by a long-standing political crisis, a weakened economy, a stalled Euro-Atlantic integration process - and by “hijacked institutions”, as the European Commission put it in its latest report.

The tough task of patching up Macedonia’s sinking vessel falls to the Social Democrats, SDSM, and their leader Zoran Zaev, who insist the new government will be reform-focused from day one.

Observers say the country needs deep reform of the judiciary and prosecution as well as the reestablishment of professional standards in the police in order to deal with what is regarded as a widespread culture of corruption - a legacy of the past government, which was widely accused of “hijacking” state institutions and of relying on authoritarian practices.

The re-establishment of strong professional institutions and an administration free from the tight grip of political parties is another priority, they say, if the country is to restore a sense of the rule of law and of justice and equal opportunities.

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