Macedonian cabinet wins confidence vote
13 April, 2018The Macedonian government last Wednesday survived a parliamentary vote of no-confidence brought by the opposition VMRO-DPMNE party over its reform agenda and policy of improving relations with Bulgaria and Greece as a step to joining the EU and NATO. 62 deputies in the 120-seat parliament voted against the no-confidence motion, while 40 were in favour.The main nationalist opposition party has said that a friendship agreement with Bulgaria ratified in January was harmful and accused the government of lacking strategy in its talks with Greece to resolve a dispute over the name Macedonia that has lingered since 1991. It also accused PM Zoran Zaev (pictured) of reneging on election pledges to improve the economy, reform the judiciary and secure media freedom.VMRO-DPMNE has returned to parliament after a boycott that began in December, when five of its MPs were arrested over last year's clashes between nationalist protesters and deputies in parliament, in which Zaev was injured. Its presence is key for the passage of laws, including one on judiciary reform that is a pre-condition for EU accession and requires a two-thirds parliamentary majority.