Northern Macedonia (until 2019 Macedonia). An infected conflict between the ruling center-right party VMRO-DPMNE and the Social Democratic opposition party SDSM intensified at the beginning of the year. According to Countryaah, the SDSM continued a boycott of Parliament which was initiated when the budget was adopted during a tumultuous session in December and announced that it intended to boycott the municipal elections.
|Land area||25,713 km²|
|Residents per km²||82.7|
|Income per capita||$ 14,900|
|ISO 3166 code||MK|
|Time zone UTC||UTC + 1, daylight saving time UTC + 2|
|Geographic coordinates||41 50 N, 22 00 O|
Violent protests erupted when the ethnic Albanian and former rebel leader Talat Xhaferi was appointed Minister of Defense in February. Ethnic Macedonians claimed that it was inappropriate for a man who led rebels in fighting the army to become its chief.
Only in early March was the political deadlock resolved, after mediation by the EU. The parties agreed to restore order in Parliament. Despite the settlement, SDSM members demonstrated a few weeks later when the state prosecutor decided to file a lawsuit against the Speaker brought after the budget wreck.
In the municipal elections held in March and April, VMRO-DPMNE and its allies won in 53 of 81 municipalities. Former Prime Minister Branko Crvenkovski left the post of party leader in SDSM after the election as a result of the party’s poor election results.