Amidst the political fervour preceding the upcoming parliamentary elections in North Macedonia on May 8, VMRO-DPMNE, the main opposition party, has proposed a postponement of constitutional changes regarding the inclusion of Bulgarians. The announcement came from Timco Mucunski, deputy chairman of VMRO-DPMNE, during the presentation of the party’s program for the impending elections.

Mucunski emphasized that in the current political climate, constitutional amendments are not feasible. He described the postponement as a “legitimate alternative” put forth by his party, which is poised to potentially secure victory in the elections called several months ahead of schedule.

“We will seek guarantees from the EU for the Macedonian identity and language, but also a guarantee that the European integration of our country will no longer become a bilateral issue,” stated Mucunski. The proposal for constitutional changes stems from Skopje’s commitment to the French proposal aimed at resolving the dispute between Bulgaria and North Macedonia. However, the EU has been vocal in its insistence on constitutional changes, complicating the matter.

Notably, previous attempts to alter the constitution during the tenure of former Prime Minister Dimitar Kovachevski were unsuccessful due to the lack of a qualified majority, which necessitated the support of VMRO-DPMNE. Kovachevski resigned in January to form a technical government tasked with organizing the upcoming elections.

Mucunski highlighted a shift away from what he termed the “foreign policy of concessions” of North Macedonia, asserting that the time had come to prioritize the nation’s interests over narrow political agendas. Despite this, VMRO-DPMNE reaffirmed its commitment to EU membership as a priority in foreign policy.

The party’s election campaign also focuses on key issues such as electoral reforms, reduction in the number of deputies, establishment of new ministries, and economic promises including job creation, tax cuts, and GDP growth. Additionally, VMRO-DPMNE supports the reform of electoral districts to create a single electoral unit for the entire country, a proposal aimed at streamlining political representation but subject to debate regarding its potential impact on political stability.