SKOPJE – Dimitar Kovachevski, the newly elected leader of North Macedonia’s governing Social Democratic Union (SDSM), received his mandate on Wednesday from the country’s President, Stevo Pendarovski, to form a new government following the resignation of Zoran Zaev as SDSM leader and prime minister.

On Monday, the SDSM officially nominated Kovachevski as its candidate for prime minister.

Kovachevski said that his government will work to ensure a better and secure life and future for the country’s citizens.

Zaev announced his resignation on Dec. 23 following his party’s defeat in October’s local elections. He served as prime minister from May 2017 to January 2020 and again since August 2020.

Kovachevski is expected to present his new cabinet and its program in the first half of January 2022. His government would need the support of at least 61 deputies in the country’s 120-member Assembly (Sobranie).