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Afrim Gashi Elected Speaker of North Macedonian Assembly

Afrim Gashi has been elected Speaker of the Assembly of North Macedonia, marking a significant step in the country’s new legislative session

Afrim Gashi was elected Speaker of the Assembly of North Macedonia, the first day of the inaugural sitting of the country’s new unicameral legislature following the parliamentary elections on 8th May. Out of 116 MPs who registered for the sitting, 76 voted in favour of Gashi’s bid for the post and 6 voted against.

The debate preceding the vote was marked by emotional statements from six MPs of The Left party and a few from VMRO-DPMNE, while the SDSM party stayed out of the discussion.

In a notable move, Gashi took the oath of office as Speaker of the Assembly using the country’s constitutional name, the Republic of North Macedonia. This comes after the newly elected President, Gordana Siljanovska, sparked an international controversy during her inauguration by referring to the country simply as Macedonia.

In his inaugural address, Gashi stated: “I will make sure that none of the MPs feels discriminated against. Let us show that we are the best image of our society, a North Macedonia in miniature. The debate about the past is not the kind of discussion to be held by politicians, least so by MPs. The past is a fine topic for historians, but not for politicians. We are supposed to work for a better future and to talk about the future, not the past. Talking only about the past will not bring any benefit for our citizens. We should therefore unite around the common demands of the citizens. A European future, education reforms, protection of the family and the environment. We have common ground on many points, which is a good opportunity.”

Gashi, who resigned as leader of the Alternativa party, a member of the VLEN coalition, was nominated for speaker of the 120-seat Assembly by 75 MPs from VLEN, VMRO-DPMNE, and ZNAM, who are currently in the midst of negotiations on the country’s future government.

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