|8th Prime Minister of Macedonia|
31 May 2017
|Preceded by||Emil Dimitriev|
|Leader of the Opposition|
2 June 2013 – 31 May 2017
|Preceded by||Branko Crvenkovski|
|Succeeded by||Nikola Gruevski|
|Mayor of Strumica|
22 March 2005 – 22 December 2016
|Preceded by||Kiril Janev|
|Succeeded by||Kostadin Kostadinov|
|Born||(1974-10-08) 8 October 1974
Strumica, Yugoslavia (now Macedonia)
|Political party||Social Democratic Union|
|Alma mater||University of Skopje|
Zoran Zaev (Macedonian: Зоран Заев) is a Macedonian economist and politician who has been the Prime Minister of Macedonia since 31 May 2017. Prior to taking office as a Prime Minister, Zaev was a member of the Macedonian Assembly between 2003 and 2005, and a mayor of Strumica between 2005 and 2016. He is a president of the center-left Social Democratic Union of Macedonia.
Early life and education
Zoran was born on October 8, 1974 in Strumica. After finishing elementary and high school in his hometown, he enrolled at the Skopje Faculty of Economics from which he graduated in 1997. Zaev earned a master’s degree in monetary economics at the same university.
Zaev become a member of Social Democratic Union of Macedonia in 1996. He was elected as chairman of the Party’s Strumica regional administration two times. He served as Party’s Vice President between 2006 and 2008. He won three consecutive local elections and served as mayor of Strumica from 2005 to 2016. After Branko Crvenkovski stepped down as SDSM’s leader in 2013, Zaev was elected as a new leader. In addition, he served as a member of the Macedonian Assembly from 2003 to 2005. Following 2016 parliamentary election, Zaev formed a coalition government with the support from the Democratic Union for Integration and the Alliance of Albanians in May 2017.
In January 2015, former Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski accused Zaev for the alleged conspiracy with a foreign intelligence service and a diplomats to topple the Government, and involvement in the allegedly attempted coup d’état. Zaev in February accused Gruevski of wiretapping and illegally spying at least 20,000 people in the country. The public prosecutor, on the other hand, accused Zaev of blackmailing Gruevski and detained five people connected with that case. The case was later dropped due to insufficient evidence.
Following his election as a SDSM president, he become leader of the opposition. As leader of the opposition, Zaev took part in a meeting with Gruevski and European Union’s enlargement commissioner Johannes Hahn in June 2015 in order to overcome the political crisis. The negotiations resulted in the Pržino Agreement, which foresaw a caretaker government to organize a snap election in April 2016 and a Special Public Prosecution to investigate the wiretaps scandal. Zaev threatened to boycott the election because of Gruevski’s obstructed of the Pržino Agreement and the reforms in the judiciary system and the media.
On May 31, 2017 the Macedonian Parliament confirmed Zaev as the new Prime Minister with 62 out of 120 MPs voting in favor. The voting ended months of political uncertainty. A survey of 1,159 Macedonian citizens carried out in June 2017 by the Macedonian Brima Gallup International Association, showed that 62% of the population supported Zaev as a Prime Minister. During his speech, Zaev presented the program of the new government, saying that joining NATO and the EU would be its priority in the following years. He also promised economic growth and an end to corruption by announcing a “responsible, reformist and European government”.
Some newspapers interpreted some Zaev’s statements for the newspapers BGNES and Kurir as a claim asserting the Macedonians as one nation with the Bulgarians or the Serbs. What Zaev was recorded to say on the original video interview of the Bulgarian newspaper “BGNES” was “I want to send a message to all the citizens of Bulgaria. We are brotherly people, the same nation.”, and what he stated during an interview for the Serbian newspaper “Kurir” was “The Serbs and the Macedonians are brotherly people” and “Nobody asked Zoran Zaev to do anything against Macedonians, against Serbs, against any ethnic community, or against any of our neighbors. We heard allegations asserting Zaev as condemning Serbia for a genocide. It’s for me the same my nation.”
Taken From Wikipedia