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SKOPJE, Macedonia – Macedonian conservative leader has been formally granted a mandate to form the country's next coalition government following an early general election last month.
The 46-year-old former prime minister's VMRO-DPMNE party won 51 seats in 120-member parliament and on Monday was three weeks to secure the 61 seats needed to form a government. Nikola Gruevski is likely to partner with the ethnic Albanian DUI party, which won 10 seats and is headed by former guerrilla leader Ali Ahmeti.
But the country's three main ethnic Albanian political parties have adopted a joint platform demanding reforms that include constitutional changes to make Albanian an official language.
Ethnic Albanians make up a quarter of Macedonia's population of 2.1 million.