The two biggest political parties in North Macedonia give similar promises concerning the development of the infrastructure in the next four years if they are given the mandate by the citizens to form the new government. The coalitions “Mozheme” (We Can), led by SDSM and “Obnova za Makedonija” (Renewal for Macedonia) led by VMRO-DPMNE put a stress on the development of the road infrastructure and transport, while other areas like railroad infrastructure and traffic, bicycle transportation and air transport are put in the background. It is evident that the promises made by both parties lack detailed information about how they will secure assets in the amount of several billion euros that will be necessary to complete all those promised projects.
The main focus of the electoral manifestos is centered on building motorways and expressways, which according to political promises, in the next four years will reach even the smallest cities. The “We Can” coalition’s electoral manifesto promises the building of motorways in the length of 260 km in the next 4 years. Apart from finishing the current projects (Skopje-Blace and Kichevo-Ohrid), SDSM promises it will build the following motorways: Trebenishta-Struga-Kjafasan, Gostivar-Kichevo, Veles-Prilep-Bitola and widening and reconstruction of the Tetovo-Gostivar motorway.
Similarly, VMRO-DPMNE promises in its next mandate to build the following motorways: Kichevo-Ohrid, Trebenishta-Struga, Katlanovo-Veles, Veles-Prilep-Bitola, Skopje-Blace and widening of the Tetovo-Gostivar motorway. The opposition coalition promises the completion of all expressways in the country that are currently built including, but also new ones: Bitola-Medžitlija and Strumica-Bulgarian border.
On the other hand, the “We Can” coalition promises in the next four years to complete the building of expressways in total length of 300 km. Apart from the completion of expressways that are currently being built, SDSM promises new projects that will connect Smokvica with Strumica and Novo Selo, Bitola with the border crossing Medžitlija, Kumanovo with Rankovce and Kočani with Delčevo.
Regarding the railroad infrastructure, VMRO-DPMNE promises it will completely finish the railroad to Bulgaria, from Kumanovo via Kriva Palanka to Deve Bair, by 2024. If they are given the mandate by the citizens to form the new government, they promise to buy five new passenger trains, to electrify the railway line Veles-Bitola-Greek border and to prepare the project documentation for building two new railway lines – from Ilinden to the International airport Skopje and from Miladinovci to the industrial zone Bunardzhik.
We find very similiar promises in the electoral manifesto of the coalition “We Can” led by SDSM. SDSM also promises to finish the building of the railroad towards Bulgaria in the next mandate, the building of a joint railroad border crossing between Macedonia and Serbia at Tabanovce, to electrify the railroad line Skopje-Gjorche Petrov- Volkovo-Blace, including the preparation of project documentation to connect the International airport Skopje by train, but starting from the railway station Miladinovci. On several occasions, Meta.mk wrote about the necessity of this project’s realization.
SDSM also promises a pilot-project for the introduction of suburban railroad traffic starting from Zelenikovo to the Main railway station in Skopje. Both parties plan to introduce an electronic ticketing system, while the current ruling party promises to install solar panels on the railroad stations.
Regarding the bicycle infrastructure and traffic, the coalition led by VMRO-DPMNE promises that until 2025, it will build paths in the length from 50 to 100 km in the cities with more than 20.000 citizens, while in cities with less than 20.000 it will build a bicycle infrastructure in the lengths from 20 to 50 km. The opposition coalition promises the building of state regional bike paths, that will connect the cities with the tourist attractions, but without revealing any specific locations.
The “We Can” coalition promises to start building mountain biking trails in the Struga region, special lanes, and new biking paths in urban areasm including the building of an infrastructure for these transportation devices between populated areas, but again no location has been specified either.