After the national elections held on 11 December 2016, the country had found itself in a deadlock due to the strong opposition of the party in power, the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization – Democratic Party for Macedonian National Unity (VMRO-DPMNE), led by President Ivanov and outgoing Prime Minister Gruevski, against the setting-up of a coalition government, lead by the Social Democratic Union (SDSM) of Zoran Zaev together with 3 other parties including the country's ethnic Albanian parties, which have formed a parliamentary majority.
Jean-François Istasse expressed his firm support to the words of Johannes Hahn, European Commissioner responsible for European Neighbourhood Policy & Enlargement Negotiations who, in a statement on 25 February, had underlined that: "change in democratic societies is natural and should be embraced, when it is a result of credible elections. Accepting and respecting the election result and the right of leaders to try to form a government is a sign of a mature democracy. Obstructing and undermining such efforts has no place in a democratic process."
Mr Istasse expressed his concerns about the political stabilization of the country and criticised that Macedonia's president and the VMRP-DPMNE Party were fuelling ethnic tensions in the country just to stay in power through unlawful means. "Stabilization is much needed to address overdue reforms that would help the country to follow on its European path" he underlined, pointing also to the upcoming local elections to be held this year in Macedonia.