Social Democratic Union of Macedonia

Social Democratic Union of Macedonia

The Social Democratic Union of Macedonia ( _mk. Социјалдемократски сојуз на Македонија, "Socijaldemokratski sojuz na Makedonija", "SDSM") is a political party in the Republic of Macedonia.

It is the successor of the League of Communists of Macedonia, the ruling party during the communist regime which ruled SR Macedonia as a constituent republic of SFR Yugoslavia from 1945 to 1990. The current party leader is Radmila Šekerinska. She was elected November 5, 2006 the SDSM leader. [ [ Sekerinska elected leader of Macedonia's main opposition party] ] From September 1992 to 1998 and from 2002 to 2006 the SDSM was the largest party in the Macedonian parliament and the main party in the government, and has shown a moderate and reconciliatory attitude towards ethnic minorities in Macedonia. Concerning its ideology, it can be said that although the SDSM is a successor of a communist party and calls itself “social-democratic”, the influential business lobby in SDSM is moving the party in a neoliberal direction. Consequently, the SDSM has fewer supporters in lower classes and more supporters in upper classes than one can expect from a social-democratic party.

The party lost the 1998 elections, but at the legislative elections, 15 september 2002, the party became the strongest party winning 43 out of 120 seats in the Macedonian Assembly as the major party of the Together for Macedonia alliance, led by SDSM and the Liberal Democratic Party. Together for Macedonia ruled in coalition with the Democratic Union for Integration.

Radmila Šekerinska is current leader of SDSM. She was elected President on November 5, 2006 at the party Congress following a no-confidence motion against the former leader Vlado Bučkovski. Šekerinska was previously deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Macedonia responsible for European Integration (European Affaires) and National Coordinator for Foreign Assistance. She was also acting Prime Minister of the Republic of Macedonia from May 12, 2004 until June 12, 2004 and from November 3, 2004 until December 15, 2004.During her term as a deputy Prime Minister responsible for European Affaires, the European Council in December 2005 granted the Republic of Macedonia a status of candidate country for accession to the European Union. [] []

The leader of the party until 2004 was Branko Crvenkovski, who served as prime minister of Macedonia from 1992 to 1998 and from 2002 to 2004. Crvenkovski was then elected on the Social Democratic ticket to become President of the Republic of Macedonia a post that he still holds. The Presidency was handed to Vlado Bučkovski, who was the party leader and Prime Minister until the 2006 Parliamentary elections. Other prominent members of this party are: Jani Makraduli, Zoran Zaev, Goran Mincev, Nikola Popovski, Ilinka Mitreva, Nikola Kjurkciev and others. The SDSM is a full member of the Socialist International and a PES associate member.

On November 30, 2005 one of the most prominent members of the SDSM, Tito Petkovski, who ran for president in 1999 and came in second place, left the party to form the New Social Democratic Party. This is the second major split from the SDSM, the first one being the 1993 split of Petar Gošev, who has established the Democratic Party.

At the last parliamentary elections, held on July 5, 2006, the party was defeated, receiving 32 of the 120 seats. It remains an important political force in Macedonia, as the second largest political party in parliament, but will most likely be unable to form a government and will become the leading opposition party.


=External links=
* [ Official Website]

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