North Macedonia's prime minister, Zoran Zaev, has stepped down as head of the Social Democratic Party (SDSM) in the wake of the party’s defeat in local elections in October.
The party’s ruling committee on November 27 accepted Zaev’s resignation and scheduled a vote on a successor for December 12. The new party leader would also be submitted to parliament to replace Zaev as prime minister.
Local media reported that Finance Minister Dimitar Kovacevski is currently the favorite to win.
Zaev announced his intention to step down after the party suffered a sound defeat in local elections on October 31.
He served as prime minister from May 2017 to January 2020 and again since August 2020.
He oversaw the resolution of his country’s long-standing dispute with Greece over the name “Macedonia.” Zaev oversaw a 2018 referendum that changed the country’s name to North Macedonia, paving the way to advance its European Union accession bid.