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North Macedonia's new coalition formally approved after parliament vote

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By Euronews  with AP, AFP
The new cabinet will be led by a Social Democrat coalition and headed by Dimitar Kovačevski as Prime Minister.
The new cabinet will be led by a Social Democrat coalition and headed by Dimitar Kovačevski as Prime Minister.   -   Copyright  AP Photo/Boris Grdanoski

North Macedonia’s parliament has approved a new coalition government led by Prime Minister Dimitar Kovačevski.

The new Cabinet will be led by the Social Democrats -- with two ethnic Albanian parties as junior partners -- and was approved by 62 MPs in North Macedonia's 120-seat parliament in a vote on Sunday.

The government was formed after two months of political crisis following the resignation of former Prime Minister Zoran Zaev.

Zaev stepped down as leader in October after suffering a heavy defeat in local elections.

He will be replaced by his former deputy finance minister Kovačevski, 47, who has pledged to tackle focus North Macedonia's economic insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic and steep rises in energy prices.

“The effects of the pandemic and the energy crisis remains a major challenge for the economy," he told parliament on Sunday.

"The government will devise an intervention plan to support the population and the economy to deal with the consequences of the energy crisis...and protect citizens from price shocks”.

Kovačevski also said he will intensify talks with Bulgaria in a bid to let North Macedonia formally start EU accession negotiations.

The Social Democrats were joined in the new centre-left coalition by the Albanian Alternative party, which holds three Cabinet posts.

The centre-right opposition VMRO-DPMNE party had voted against the new coalition, insisting that only a new election would give the government legitimacy.