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Macedonia's cabinet faces a reshuffle this week, as several ethnic Albanian ministers quit to run as mayoral candidates in the March local elections.
Photo by: gov.mk
Macedonia's junior ruling party, the Democratic Union for Integration, DUI, has confirmed the reshuffle and revealed the names of the new ministers and deputy ministers from its ranks.
According to the main ruling VMRO DPMNE party of Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski, the shift is a routine one and will not involve exchanges of ministries between the coalition parties.
The new vice prime minister in charge of European affairs will be Fatmir Besimi, who was previously at defence. He will replace Teuta Arifi who is running as the DUI mayoral candidate in the western town of Tetovo.
DUI legislator Talat Xhaferri will go to defence.
Tahir Hani, now deputy transport minister, will replace Nevzat Bejta as the new minister for local government. Bejta will be running in the elections in the western town of Gostivar.
Deputy police minister Xhelal Bajrami will become the new deputy transport minister while his place in the police ministry will be filled by Zemri Kjamili, head of the Agency for Repossession of Goods.
The new deputy finance minister will be Adrian Xhelali, who will replace Nedim Ramizi.
This will be the first reshuffle in the cabinet of Nikola Gruevski since he won the 2011 general elections.
In two high-profile war crimes trials currently ongoing in Pristina, a series of witnesses have retracted previous statements alleging abuse at Kosovo Liberation Army detention centres.