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Main political parties

VMRO-DPMNE: The party describes itself as a Christian Democratic party which supports the admission of Macedonia to NATO and the European Union. VMRO–DPMNE was founded on June 17, 1990 in Skopje. After the first multi-party elections in 1990, VMRO–DPMNE became the strongest party in the Parliament, but did not form a government. At the Kichevo Congress in 1995, deciding that it could not gain international support to form a government as long as it was nationalistic, VMRO–DPMNE became a moderate party with Christian Democratic orientation. After winning the 1998 election VMRO–DPMNE surprised many people when formed coalition government with the Democratic Party of Albanians. In 1999 the VMRO–DPMNE's candidate Boris Trajkovski was elected President, completing VMRO–DPMNE's takeover. Once in office Trajkovski pursued a much more moderate policy than expected. In 2002 VMRO–DPMNE's government was defeated at the legislative elections. In an alliance with the Liberal Party of Macedonia, VMRO–DPMNE won 28 out of 120 seats. In 2004 Trajkovski was killed in a plane crash and Branko Crvenkovski was elected President, defeating the VMRO–DPMNE's candidate Sashko Kedev. The first leader of the VMRO–DPMNE was Ljubco Georgievski, who served as prime minister from 1998 to 2002, and the current is Nikola Gruevski. The party became the largest party in Parliament again after receiving 45 of 120 seats in the July 5, 2006 parliamentary elections, and formed a government. SDSM: The Social Democratic Union of Macedonia is the successor of the League of Communists of Macedonia, the ruling party during the communist regime which ruled Macedonia as a part of Yugoslavia from 1945 to 1990. The current party leader is Radmila Sekerinska. She was elected November 5, 2006 the SDSM leader. 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 the Social Democratic Union of Macedonia and the Liberal Democratic Party. Together for Macedonia governs in coalition with the Democratic Union for Integration. Radmila Sekerinska is current leader of SDSM. She was elected President on November 5th, 2006 at the party Congress following a no-confidence motion against the former leader Vlado Bučkovski. Sekerinska 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 Buckovski, who was the party leader and Prime Minister until the 2006 Parliamentary elections. 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. DUI(BDI): The Democratic Union for Integration is the largest political party in the Republic of Macedonia among ethnic Albanians, and the third largest political party in all of Macedonia. It was formed immediately after the war in the Republic of Macedonia in 2001 between the National Liberation Army (NLA) and the Macedonian Security Forces. DUI succeeded the NLA, after the war in Macedonia in 2001, when the latter was dismantled and disarmed. The NLA leader Ali Ahmeti became party president, while the para-militant wartime headquarters was transformed and legalized as the party governing body. However, after the war, many Albanian intellectuals from Macedonia, that were not members of the NLA, joined the party. The political party was formed in June 2002. At the legislative elections on 15 September 2002, the party won 11.9% of the popular vote (70% of the Albanian vote) and 16 of 120 seats. From 2002 to 2006 it was part of the ruling coalition along with the Social Democratic Union of Macedonia (SDSM) and the Liberal Democratic Party. At the last legislative elections, held on July 5, 2006, the party formed coalition with Party for Democratic Prosperity and Democratic League of Bosniaks. This coalition received 12.2% of the vote and 18 seats. Although DUI won the largest number of seats among ethnic Albanian parties (14), since their Macedonian governmental partners lost the election, it was not invited by the new Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski to participate in the new government. Its place was taken by the second largest Albanian political party, the Democratic Party of the Albanians. PDP: The Party for Democratic Prosperity or PDP is an ethnic Albanian political party in the Republic of Macedonia. The party was formed in April 1990. From 1992 to 1998 the PDP was part of the coalition governments led by the SDSM. After the split of the radical wing from the party in February 1994, PDP was generally considered to be moderate party that could cooperate with Macedonian parties, although sometimes frictions between the PDP and the other government parties arose as a consequence of the ethnic questions. From the 1998 elections onwards PDP is in opposition and since then the support for the PDP has eroded a lot. At the last legislative elections, 15 september 2002, the party won 2.3% of the popular vote and 2 out of 120 seats. Its current leader is Abduladi Vejseli. DPA: The Democratic Party of Albanians or DPA is a political party of the ethnic Albanians in the Republic of Macedonia. The DPA is a merger of the Party for Democratic Prosperity of Albanians (PDPA) and the People's Democratic Party (NDP) which took place in June 1997. The former party was formed in 1994 after some radical members of the Party for Democratic Prosperity, led by Menduh Thaci and Arben Xhaferi, left the PDP and the latter party was founded in August 1990 as a more radical opponent of the PDP. After the 2006 elections the DPA entered the government coalition led by the VMRO-DPMNE. At the legislative elections, 15 September 2002, the party won 5.2% of the popular vote and 7 out of 120 seats. The party lost its status as a government party due to the defeat of the VMRO-DPNME. At the last legislative elections, held on July 5, 2006, the party increased its support, winning 7.5% of the vote and 11 seats. Its leader is Menduh Thaci. NSDP: The New Social Democratic Party is a social democratic party in the Republic of Macedonia. Its leader is Tito Petkovski, who parted with the Social Democratic Union of Macedonia in November 2005. In parliamentary elections on July 5, 2006, it received 6% of the vote. LDP: The Liberal Democratic Party is a liberal party in the Republic of Macedonia. The Liberal Democratic Party was launched in April 1997 as a merger between the Liberal Party and the Democratic Party. The first leader of the LDP was Petar Goshev from the Democrats, who was also the last president of the League of Communists of Macedonia. When the former Liberal Party was reestablished in 1999, significant portion of former Liberal Party has remained in the LDP. At the legislative elections, 15 September 2002, the party won 12 out of 120 seats as part of the Together for Macedonia alliance, led by the Social Democratic Union of Macedonia and the Liberal Democratic Party. Since the 2002 elections it has participated in the government together with the SDSM and the DUI. Since 1994 the LDP is a member of Liberal International. The LDP is also an affiliate member of the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party. Its current leader is Jovan Manasievski.
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