Leaders’ meeting ends in deadlock after 4 hours of debate

The leaders of the largest political parties, who convened Thursday in Skopje to discuss the appointment of members of the State Election Commission (SEC), the name referendum, and the wording of the referendum question, will continue to seek solutions in the coming days.

The leaders of SDSM, Zoran Zaev, of DUI, Ali Ahmeti, of VMRO-DPMNE, Hristijan Mickoski, and Bilal Kasami of Besa debated for almost four hours before hitting a deadlock.

DUI leader Ahmeti after the meeting said that there were differences, which had to be settled in the interest of Macedonia’s EU integration bid.

“We all have to make efforts in order to conclude successfully the deal reached with Greece. Not all options have been exhausted, and talks will resume in the coming days. I expect everyone to be courageous and not to miss this historic chance,” Ahmeti told reporters.

Besa’s Kasami said his party would contribute to closing the negotiations with an agreement between the parties on setting up the SEC and organizing a successful referendum.

The country is at a critical point, he said, and it has to wrap up the EU integration process.

“The intensive negotiations of the political stakeholders are important and therefore we will contribute to concluding the negotiations enabling an agreement to be made, the SEC to be formed and the referendum to be successful so as to allow all citizens to freely express their will and Macedonia to become a member of the EU and NATO once an for all,” Kasami noted.