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Tuesday, 26 June, 2001, 14:37 GMT 15:37 UK
Profile: Boris Trajkovski
Macedonian President Boris Trajkovski
Trajkovski's election was welcomed by the West
Macedonian President Boris Trajkovski is under pressure to resign because of perceived leniency towards ethnic Albanian rebels.

The president has called for an amnesty for guerrillas fighting the government in the north of the country if they disarm voluntarily.

He has also called for greater inclusion of ethnic Albanians in state bodies and institutions and appealed to all political leaders to return to the bargaining table to reconsider his peace plan.

Biography
Elected November 1999
Born 1956
Law degree 1980
Ex-deputy foreign minister
It is not the first time Mr Trajkovski, 45, has been criticised for his stance on the conflict - either for being too tough towards the rebels, or for being too weak.

In March, Mr Trajkovski, and Prime Minister Ljubco Georgievski - both from the centre-right Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organisation (VMRO) - were accused by the opposition Social Democratic Alliance of giving in to ethnic Albanian demands so they could stay in power.

The opposition believes the once-nationalist ruling party has conceded too much ever since it formed a coalition with the republic's biggest ethnic Albanian political party - the Democratic Party of Albanians (DPA), led by Arben Xhaferi.

But Mr Trajkovski has also taken a tough line towards the rebels in the north of the country, announcing in March that government forces would "neutralise and eliminate" them.

Ethnic support

Mr Trajkovski was elected in November 1999, Western governments saw him as the man who was best able to ensure stability in Macedonia. He was seen as a young leader, with a Western outlook and an ability to build contacts with foreign diplomats and politicians.

The village of Matejce being shelled
The president supported the shelling of rebel areas
He won the election in the second round, overtaking first-round front-runner, the Social Democrats' Tito Petkovshi, with a last-minute swing of support from ethnic Albanians - who make up between a quarter and a third of Macedonia's population of two million.

There had to be a partial re-run two weeks later in the predominantly ethnic Albanian region of western Macedonia after complaints of alleged irregularities, but Mr Trajkovski's victory was confirmed.

Boris Trajkovski was born in Strumica on 25 June 1956. He speaks English and has a law degree from St Cyril and Methodius University, in Skopje. He specialised in commercial and employment law, and went on to head the legal department of a construction company.

In 1997 he became Chief of Office of the Mayor of Kisela Voda municipality in Skopje, and in January 1999 he was appointed Macedonia's deputy minister of foreign affairs. During the Kosovo crisis later that year he accused Nato of paying too little attention to the ethnic tensions brewing in Macedonia, and the influx of 300,000 ethnic Albanian refugees.

The president is married with a son and a daughter.


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31 May 01 | Europe
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