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Sobranie (Assembly of the Republic)

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Parliament name (generic / translated) Sobranie / Assembly of the Republic
Structure of parliament Unicameral
Dates of election / renewal (from/to) 11 December 2016
Purpose of elections No party won an outright majority in the 123-member Assembly of the Republic, which led the country to months of political uncertainty. Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski's VMRO-DPMNE-led coalition won two more seats than the coalition led by the Social Democratic Union of Macedonia (SDSM) of Mr. Zoran Zaev. On 9 January 2017, President Gjorge Ivanov (VMRO-DPMNE) tasked Mr. Gruevski with forming a new government. However, the VMRO-DPMNE and its coalition partner, the Democratic Union for Integration (DUI), failed to secure a coalition agreement within the 20-day deadline. The Prime Minister stated that early elections would be the only way to solve the political stalemate and initially rejected the SDSM leader Zaev's request to form a new government, on the basis that, in accordance with Article 90 of the Constitution, the mandate to form a new government can only be given to a party or coalition that has secured a majority in the parliament.

On 27 April 2017, Mr. Talat Xhaferi from the opposition DUI was elected as the new Speaker, thereby becoming the country's first ethnic Albanian to assume the post. Demonstrators subsequently stormed parliament. Over 100 people, including SDSM leader Zaev, were injured during the violence. The European Union (EU) and the United States condemned the violence. On 17 May, President Ivanov gave Mr. Zaev the mandate to form a government. The proposed coalition government comprising the SDSM, the DUI and the Alliance of Albanians, was approved by the Assembly of the Republic on 31 May, triggering the first powershift since 2006 when Mr. Gruevski's VMRO-DPMNE assumed power.

The early elections in 2016 followed a two-year long political turmoil in the country. In February 2015, SDSM leader Zaev started releasing a stream of recordings, accusing the government of wiretapping 20,000 people, including politicians, journalists and religious leaders. The leaked recordings reportedly revealed corruption at the highest levels of government. That triggered street protests, demanding the resignation of the Government. Prime Minister Gruevski rejected the allegations. In July, the major parties signed the Przino Agreement, brokered by the EU, which set out a roadmap for ending the crisis, including early elections by April 2016. These ended up being held in December further to additional mediation of the EU and the United States, and the agreement known as Przino 2 was reached between major parties in May.

During the election campaigning, the major parties focused on economic reforms, anti-corruption measures and promised more investment in infrastructure. On 18 November, the Special Prosecutor's Office announced it was investigating 10 current and former members of the secret service for taking part in the illegal wiretapping of nearly 6,000 citizens between 2008 and 2015.
Date of previous elections: 27 April 2014

Date of dissolution of the outgoing legislature: 17 October 2016

Timing of election: Early elections

Expected date of next elections: December 2020

Number of seats at stake: 123 (full renewal)*
*Including 3 seats reserved for Macedonians abroad. No candidates surpassed the required threshold to win these seats.

Number of candidates: 1,092

Percentage of women candidates: About 41%

Number of parties contesting the election: 6

Number of parties winning seats: 6

Alternation of power: Yes

Number of parties in government: 3 (including two coalitions)

Names of parties in government: SDSM-led coalition, Democratic Union for Integration (DUI), Alliance of Albanians

Date of the first session of the new parliament: 30 December 2016

Name of the new Speaker: Mr. Talat Xhaferi (Democratic Union for Integration, DUI)
Voter turnout
Round no 111 December 2016
Number of registered electors
Blank or invalid ballot papers
Valid votes
1'191'854 (66.79%)

Distribution of votes
Round no 1
Political Group Candidates Votes %
VMRO-DPMNE-led coalition
SDSM-led coalition
Democratic Union for Integration (DUI)
BESA Movement
Alliance of Albanians
Democratic Party of Albanians (DPA)
Distribution of seats
Round no 1
Political Group Total
VMRO-DPMNE-led coalition 51
SDSM-led coalition 49
Democratic Union for Integration (DUI) 10
BESA Movement 5
Alliance of Albanians 3
Democratic Party of Albanians (DPA) 2
Distribution of seats according to sex
Percent of women
Distribution of seats according to age
Distribution of seats according to profession
Assembly (28.12.2016, 01.06.2017, 02.11.2017, 30.08.2018)

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