Stevo Pendarovski inaugurated as President

At a ceremony in Parliament on Sunday, Stevo Pendarovski was officially inaugurated as President. In his speech, he said he would respect all citizens, not just those that had voted for him. “As President, I will get engaged in the diplomatic efforts for full-fledged NATO membership of ours, as well as for a start of negotiations with the EU,” Pendarovski noted. The President added that Macedonia had two priorities: economic growth and uncompromising fight against organised crime and corruption. Regarding the reform process, he stated that, after a transition period of 30 years, institutions should be formed that wouldn’t depend on a change of government. Among those who attended the ceremony were ministers from the Government, Pendarovski’s predecessor, Gjorge Ivanov, former President Branko Crvenkovski, the wife of ex-President Boris Trajkovski, Vilma Trajkovska, ARM Chief of General Staff Vasko Gjurcinovski, Bulgarian President Rumen Radev, National Bank Governor Anita Angelovska-Bezoska, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, representatives of religious communities, academics, Albanian President Ilir Meta, Polish Deputy Foreign Minister Maciej Lang, Kosovan President Hashim Thaci, Greek Foreign Minister George Katrougalos and Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister Faruk Kaymakci. According to several media reports, VMRO-DPMNE leader Hristijan Mickoski wasn’t present because he hadn’t been invited to the ceremony. Prior the ceremony, PM Zoran Zaev, too, who is using days off, had extended congratulations, too. After the inauguration, Pendarovski went to Villa Vodno, where he met his predecessor, Gjorge Ivanov. After their 45-minute meeting, both met employees of the President’s Cabinet. Afterwards, Ivanov left Villa Vodno. The same day, Pendarovski met Vucic, Radev, Thaci, Katrougalos, Kaymakci, Montenegrin Foreign Minister Srdjan Darmanovic and Piotr Wawrzyk, Undersecretary of State at Poland’s Foreign Ministry.