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Macedonia: Parl't speaker seeks opposition mandate to rule

Associated Press logo Associated Press 4/05/2017

SKOPJE, Macedonia — Macedonia's new parliament speaker, whose election last week led to protesters storming parliament and attacking lawmakers, has asked the country's president to hand the opposition leader a mandate to form a new government.

Parliament said in a press release Thursday that Talat Xhaferi had sent a letter to President Gjorge Ivanov noting that a "parliament majority has been established" and that he expects the president to act according to the constitution.

The country has been functioning on a caretaker government since inconclusive elections in December. Ivanov had refused to hand the mandate to Zoran Zaev, whose Social Democrat Alliance party came second in the December elections, saying Zaev's pledge to consider enhancing the standing of the country's ethnic Albanian minority would undermine Macedonia's sovereignty.

Ivanov has 10 days to respond.

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