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Macedonia: Parliament Approves Multiethnic Government

Skopje, 1 November 2002 (RFE/RL) --Macedonia's parliament has approved the country's new multiethnic government led by Prime Minister Branko Crvenkovski (pictured). Parliament voted early today for the government consisting of Crvenkovski's coalition and the ethnic Albanian party, the Democratic Union of Integration of former rebel leader Ali Ahmeti.

Crvenkovski, the leader of the leftist Social Democratic Alliance of Macedonia, earlier presented his government's program for a four-year mandate.

He said the first priority is a return of "peace, safety and security." He urged both Macedonians and ethnic Albanians to "grab this big chance for Macedonia's future."

Crvenkovski's coalition won 60 out of 120 seats in the assembly in an election in September, defeating the nationalist VMRO-DPMNE party of outgoing Prime Minister Ljubco Georgievski.

The poll resulted from a Western-brokered peace accord that ended a seven-month ethnic Albanian rebel insurgency against government forces last year.