Despite the inaccurate, inflammatory, and nationalistic articles online, North Macedonia’s government was not “toppled”, nor did “the Albanians, slowly but surely, seize the power”. The newly elected government is a so-called technical government, also known as a “Przhino government”, in accordance with the Przhino Agreement , signed in 2015. The technical government’s responsibility is to organize fair and just presidential and parliamentary elections, which this year are to be held on 24 April and 8 May, respectively. There is nothing noteworthy regarding this handover of power – it is the third time it has occurred. In 2016, Nikola Gruevski, the prime minister at the time, resigned. Then, in 2020, one hundred days ahead of the Parliamentary elections, the former prime minister Zoran Zaev submitted his resignation. Now, Kovachevski is following suit
Author: Matej Trojachanec
The election of the new technical government in North Macedonia (on 28.01.2024) was a catalyst for disinformation and tendentious reporting from certain regional media outlets, who provided a deluge of sensationalist headlines about the “fall of the Macedonian government.” The government, now led by Talat Xhaferi, who served as the president of the Parliament up until his appointment as Prime Minister, is the third so-called technical government, whose goal it is to organize fair elections. However, this simple fact did not prevent certain media outlets from coming up with provocative and even inflammatory articles, such as the articles published by espreso.co.rs, informer.rs and mondo.rs:
(in Serbian) THE GOVERNMENT FELL, NORTH MACEDONIA IN SHAMBLES: the Prime Minister made a DRAMATIC MOVE
(in Serbian) Macedonia to be led by a Shiptar (slur for Albanian); Slowly but surely, Albanians are taking over in Skopje
(in Serbian) NATIONAL TREASON, HIS APPOINTMENT STOMPS ALL OVER THE NATION – the first Albanian at the helm of the government – “We are tenants in our own country”
However, despite such inaccurate, inflammatory, and nationalistic headlines, the government in North Macedonia did not “fall”, nor did “Albanians, slowly but surely, seize power”. The newly elected government is a so-called technical government, also known as “a Przhino government”, in accordance with Przhino Agreement from 2015. It is the technical government’s responsibility to organize just and fair presidential and parliamentary elections, which this year are to be held on 24 April and 8 May, respectively. The Agreement was signed to overcome the political crisis in 2015 that emerged following the wiretapping scandal in the country. It mandates that a hundred days before parliamentary elections, a technical – transitional government is established, in which members of the opposition take up certain ministerial positions, specifically in the sectors of internal affairs, labor and social policy. Additionally, members of the opposition are appointed as deputy ministers in the sectors of finance, agriculture and forestry, as well as information society and administration.
The procedure for establishing such a technical government begins with the resignation of the president of the current legislature. Thus, on 28 January, Prime Minister Dimitar Kovachevski resigned, which, in compliance with the Constitution, implies the resignation of the entire government.
There simply is nothing noteworthy or dramatic about the election of this specific transitional government. In fact, it is the third time such a procedure has taken place in North Macedonia. In 2016, the prime minister at the time, Nikola Gruevski, resigned. In 2020, a hundred days ahead of the parliamentary elections, the former prime minister Zoran Zaev submitted his resignation. Now, Kovachevski is following suit.
What are Serbian media saying?
Photo: collage of news articles, print-screen
Starting two days before the technical government was even established on Sunday, 28 January 2024, Serbian media outlets began publishing articles with headlines indicating the supposed “fall of the government in N. Macedonia”. The resignations of both Kovachevski as Prime Minister and Xhaferi as President of the Parliament were presented the main catalysts of the supposed “fall”. Furthermore, many media outlets speculated that the country is in a political crisis. Such sensationalist and clickbait headlines were published by, for example, Politika.rs, Tportal.hr, Srpskainfo, B92, RadioSarajevo, Blic.rs, Nova.rs, Atvbl.rs, NSUzivo, Vestionlajn, Kurir.rs, SputnikSrbija, Srpski, Republika.rs, Spona, SrbijaDanas, Nportal и Espreso.co.rs.
The worst headlines, by far, were published by Informer and Mondo. They provocatively focused on the fact that the technical prime minister Talat Xhaferi was Albanian, clearly intending to twist the truth and stir up interethnic tensions.