Gordana Siljanovska Davkova Sworn in as North Macedonia's First Female President Amid Name Controversy

Gordana Siljanovska Davkova was sworn in as North Macedonia's first female president, but her use of "Macedonia" instead of "Republic of North Macedonia" sparked controversy. The incident led to Greece's ambassador leaving the ceremony, highlighting ongoing sensitivities in the region.

Trim Correspondents
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Gordana Siljanovska Davkova Sworn in as North Macedonia's First Female President Amid Name Controversy

Gordana Siljanovska Davkova Sworn in as North Macedonia's First Female President Amid Name Controversy

On May 12, 2024, Gordana Siljanovska Davkova made history as she was sworn in as the sixth president of the Republic of North Macedonia and the country's first female president. The inauguration ceremony, held in the Skopje Parliament, marked a significant milestone for the nation. However, the event was overshadowed by controversy when Davkova referred to her country as "Macedonia" instead of its official name, "Republic of North Macedonia," during the oath-taking ceremony.

Why this matters: The controversy surrounding the country's name has significant implications for North Macedonia's relationships with its neighboring countries, particularly Greece, and could impact its progress towards EU membership. The incident also highlights the ongoing challenges and sensitivities in the region, which could have broader consequences for regional stability and cooperation.

Davkova's use of "Macedonia" instead of "Republic of North Macedonia" has raised concerns, as it goes against the country's official name as per the Prespa Treaty with Greece. The Greek ambassador, Sofia Filippidou, promptly left the ceremony in protest, highlighting the ongoing sensitivity surrounding the country's name. The incident underscores the complex relationships between North Macedonia and its neighboring countries.

Notably, the leaders of neighboring countries, including Bulgaria, Serbia, and Albania, did not attend the ceremony, unlike the previous presidential swearing-in ceremony, which was attended by Bulgarian President Radomir Radev. According to Greek media outlet Kathimerini, these countries claimed they did not receive invitations in time.

As president, Siljanovska-Davkova will have significant powers and responsibilities. She will determine who will form the government, appoint and dismiss ambassadors, accept letters of credit, conclude international treaties, award honors, and pardon individuals. Additionally, she will sign decrees to promulgate laws, have the right of a deferral veto, and serve as the supreme commander of the armed forces and chairman of the Security Council.

Siljanovska-Davkova has expressed her own opinions on the country's negotiation framework for EU membership, believing it "can be interpreted in a different way." She has also announced that her first visits will be in the region, aiming to develop regional cooperation.

The Republic of North Macedonia has undergone significant changes since its independence in 1991. The country held a referendum on independence, adopted a new constitution, and became a member of the United Nations in 1993. Kiro Gligorov served as the first president of the independent republic, and the country has had five presidents since then, with Stevo Pendarovski being the most recent one.

Despite the controversy surrounding her oath-taking ceremony, Gordana Siljanovska Davkova's inauguration as North Macedonia's first female president marks a historic moment for the country. As she assumes her role, the international community will closely monitor her actions and statements, particularly regarding the country's name and its relationships with neighboring nations. The incident serves as a reminder of the ongoing challenges and sensitivities in the region, as North Macedonia continues to navigate its path forward.

Key Takeaways

  • Gordana Siljanovska Davkova becomes North Macedonia's 1st female president.
  • She sparks controversy by using "Macedonia" instead of "Republic of North Macedonia" during oath-taking.
  • Greek ambassador leaves ceremony in protest, highlighting ongoing name sensitivity.
  • Davkova will have significant powers as president, including forming government and appointing ambassadors.
  • Her actions and statements will be closely monitored, particularly regarding country's name and regional relationships.