Socialist Republic of Macedonia

The Socialist Republic of Macedonia (Macedonian: Социјалистичка Република Македонија, romanized: Socijalistička Republika Makedonija) was one of the six constituent countries of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and a socialist nation state of the Macedonians.[1][2][3] After the transition of the political system to parliamentary democracy in 1990, the Republic changed its official name to Republic of Macedonia in 1991,[4] and with the beginning of the breakup of Yugoslavia, it declared itself an independent country on 8 September 1991.

People's Republic of Macedonia (1946–1963)

Socialist Republic of Macedonia (1963–1991)
Социјалистичка Република Македонија
Socijalistička Republika Makedonija
Republic of Macedonia (1991)

Република Македонија
Republika Makedonija
Anthem: Денес над Македонија (1989–1991)
Denes nad Makedonija
(English: "Today Over Macedonia")
Macedonia within Yugoslavia
StatusConstituent republic of Yugoslavia
Common languagesMacedonian
GovernmentSocialist republic (1946–1990)
Parliamentary democracy (1990–1991)
Historical eraCold War
2 August 1944
8 May 1945
 Independence declared
8 September 1991
199125,713 km2 (9,928 sq mi)
CurrencyYugoslav dinar
ISO 3166 codeMK
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Kingdom of Bulgaria
Albanian Kingdom (1943–44)
Republic of Macedonia
Today part of North Macedonia

Geographically SR Macedonia bordered Albania to the west, Greece to the south and Bulgaria to the east. Within Yugoslavia it bordered Serbia (including SAP Kosovo) to the north.


The first Macedonian state was formally proclaimed under the name Democratic Federal Macedonia[5] (Macedonian: Демократска Федерална Македонија, romanized: Demokratska Federalna Makedonija) at the First Plenary Session of the Anti-Fascist Assembly for the People's Liberation of Macedonia (ASNOM) during the National Liberation War of Macedonia in World War II. It was set up on 2 August 1944 in the Bulgarian occupation zone in Yugoslavia.[6][7] This date is now celebrated by ethnic Macedonians as the day they were first allowed to freely state their nationality. It was chosen intentionally, as it was the date of the Ilinden Uprising against Ottoman rule in 1903. However, after the Bulgarian Army retreated from the region under Soviet pressure, on 8 September, right-wing IMRO nationalists declared a pro-German Macedonian puppet-state.[8] In early October, under the leadership of the new Bulgarian pro-Soviet government, the Bulgarian Army reentered Yugoslavia to block the German forces in their withdrawal from Greece.[9][10] In Macedonia the Bulgarians fought side-by-side with the fighters of the People's Liberation Army of Macedonia.[11]

Vardar Macedonia was de facto liberated from the Germans and their collaborationists in late November 1944, so the ASNOM became operational in December, shortly after the German retreat. Nevertheless in December anti-communist Albanian nationalists in Western Macedonia tried to remain in control of the region after the Yugoslav Partisans announced victory.[12] They aimed to resist incorporation of the area into communist Yugoslavia and it was only in early 1945 that the Yugoslav Partisans were able to establish their control over the mountainous area.

The nature of the new Yugoslav state remained unclear immediately after the war. Yugoslavia was envisioned by the Partisans as a "Democratic Federation", including six federal states.[13] When Tito's nomination as Prime Minister was accepted on 29 November 1945, the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was declared, with its constitution coming into force in 1946. As a result Macedonia changed its name to the People's Republic of Macedonia and was incorporated as a constituent republic in the Yugoslav Federation.

However, some people were against the federation and demanded greater independence from the federal authorities, leading to their persecution. One of the notable victims of these purges was the first president, Metodija Andonov - Čento. To wipe out the remnants of Bulgarophile sentiments, even though they were weak, the Macedonians continued a process of Macedonisation and nation-building,[14] a process started in the 19th century. People with various degrees of allegedly being pro-Bulgarian (in the most cases they were pro Macedonian Independence/bigger authonomy of the Macedonian Republic) orientation were purged from their positions, then isolated, arrested and imprisoned on fabricated charges. In many cases they were executed en masse, such as during the Bloody Christmas of 1945. The number of victims is estimated to be around 50 000, including those killed, imprisoned, deported, sent to forced labor, tortured, etc. More purges followed after the Tito-Stalin split.

The state was formed on the territory of Vardar Macedonia, a part of the wider geographical region of Macedonia, which was divided between several countries. Some Macedonian politicians from the Republic advocated the idea of a United Macedonia, which would include Aegean Macedonia and Pirin Macedonia. The idea was somewhat supported by the federal Yugoslav authorities on some occasions, or repressed, depending on the regional and international political situation.

In 1963, the name of the state was changed to the Socialist Republic of Macedonia.


Constitution of the Socialist Republic of Macedonia, 1974 – Official Gazette (in Macedonian)

The Socialist Republic of Macedonia, which was defined as a nation-state of the Macedonians and also a state of its ethnic minorities, had some powers normally associated with an independent state. The Constitution also recognized the right of self-determination and secession. The borders of the Socialist Republic of Macedonia could only be changed by decision of the republic's parliament. Its inhabitants held both Yugoslav citizenship and an internal Macedonian citizenship for state business.

The Socialist Republic of Macedonia had its own constitution, presidency, government, parliament, official language, state symbols, Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts, Secretariat of Internal Affairs (Interior ministry), Bureau for Foreign Relations (Ministry of Foreign Affairs)[15] and other state prerogatives. Also, the Socialist Republic of Macedonia had its own Territorial Defence armed forces (Macedonian: Територијална одбрана, Teritorijalna odbrana).[16]


The Socialist Republic of Macedonia was a one-party communist state, the ruling political party being the League of Communists of Macedonia (in Macedonian: Сојуз на Комунистите на Македонија, Sojuz na Komunistite na Makedonija, abbreviation: СКМ, SKM). Being a constituent state of Yugoslavia, a leading founder of the Non-Aligned Movement, SR Macedonia pursued a neutral foreign policy and maintained a more liberal communist system compared to other communist states. The ruling ideology was based on Titoism and Workers' self-management (Macedonian: самоуправување, samoupravuvanje).


While the Macedonians were the majority and were one of the constituent nations of SFR Yugoslavia (official term: narod) the rights of the ethnic minorities (official term: narodnosti) were guaranteed by the Constitution. The official language of SR Macedonia was Macedonian,[17] however Macedonian Albanians and Macedonian Turks had the right to use their own languages within the school system and the media.[18] The constitution of the SR Macedonia defined the state as the national state of the ethnic Macedonians, but also as the state of Albanians and Turks.[18]

From the start of Yugoslav rule in Macedonia, accusations surfaced that the new authorities were involved in retribution against people who did not support the formation of the new Macedonian national identity.[19] The number of victims due to organized killings of Bulgarians is unclear. Bulgarian sources claim that thousands of people were killed after 1944 and that more than 100,000 people were put in prison under the "Law for the protection of Macedonian national honor".[20] In SR Macedonia the Bulgarophobia increased to the level of State ideology.[21]


Although the ruling communists discouraged religion, religious freedom was allowed to a certain extent. The authorities allowed the existence of the Macedonian Orthodox Church, which proclaimed autocephaly in 1967. In 1972 the construction of the largest orthodox church St. Clement of Ohrid in the capital of Skopje began. Muslims, Catholics, Protestants and other religious communities also could maintain their own organisations and places of worship.


The Socialist Republic of Macedonia was the 4th largest constituent country of SFR Yugoslavia both by area and population. Within Yugoslavia, it had an internal border with the Socialist Republic of Serbia to the north and its subunit the Socialist Autonomous Province of Kosovo to the north-west and international borders with Greece to the south, the People's Republic of Bulgaria to the east and the People's Socialist Republic of Albania to the west.


In 1990 the form of government peacefully changed from socialist state to parliamentary democracy. The first pluralist elections were held on 11 November the same year. The once ruling communist party took a reformist direction and renamed itself League of Communists of Macedonia – Party for Democratic Change led by Petar Gošev. After the head of the last communist presidency Vladimir Mitkov[22] resigned, Kiro Gligorov became the first democratically elected president of the Socialist Republic of Macedonia on 31 January 1991.[lower-alpha 1] On 16 April parliament adopted a constitutional amendment removing "Socialist" from the official name of the entity, and on 7 June the new name Republic of Macedonia was officially established.[4] After the process of dissolution of Yugoslavia began, the Republic of Macedonia issued a Sovereignty Declaration on 25 January 1991[23] and later proclaimed itself a fully independent country, following a referendum held on 8 September 1991.

The Republic of North Macedonia is the legal successor to the Socialist Republic of Macedonia.

Heads of institutions

Presidents of ASNOM

Presidents of Presidency of Parliament

Presidents of Parliament

Presidents of Presidency

Prime Ministers

  • Lazar Koliševski (1945–1953)
  • Ljupčo Arsov (1953–1961)
  • Aleksandar Grličkov (1961–1965)
  • Nikola Minčev (1965–1968)
  • Ksente Bogoev (1968–1974)
  • Blagoja Popov (1974–1982)
  • Dragoljub Stavrev (1982–1986)
  • Gligorije Gogovski (1986–1991)


This position was established in 1991, after the dissolution of the collective presidency.


  1. Kiro Gligorov was elected president on 31 January 1991, when SR Macedonia was still an official name of the nation. After the change of the state's name, he continued his function as a President of the Republic of Macedonia – The Official Site of The President of the Republic of Macedonia
  2. Kiro Gligorov was elected as a President on 27 January 1991, when SR Macedonia was still an official name of the state. After the change of the state's name, he continued his function as a President of the Republic of Macedonia – The Official Site of The President of the Republic of Macedonia


  1. Constitution of the Socialist Republic of Macedonia, 1974 – Official Gazette of the Republic of Macedonia (in Macedonian)
  2. Устав Федеративне Народне Републике Југославије (1946),, retrieved on 19 October 2007. (in Serbo-Croatian)
  3. Устав Социјалистичке Федеративне Републике Југославије (1963),, retrieved on 19 October 2007. (in Serbo-Croatian)
  4. On This Day – Macedonian Information Agency – MIA Archived 25 January 2008 at the Wayback Machine, see: 1991 (in Macedonian)
  5. Constitutional History of the Republic of Macedonia by Dr. Cvetan Cvetkovski, Faculty of Law, Skopje, Republic of Macedonia
  6. Historical Dictionary of the Republic of Macedonia, Dimitar Bechev, Scarecrow Press, 2009, ISBN 0810855658,p. 240.
  7. The Three Yugoslavias: State-Building And Legitimation, 1918–2005, Sabrina P. Ramet, Indiana University Press, 2006, ISBN 0253346568, p. 139-140.
  8. Das makedonische Jahrhundert: von den Anfängen der nationalrevolutionären Bewegung zum Abkommen von Ohrid 1893–2001, Stefan Troebst, Oldenbourg Verlag, 2007, ISBN 3486580507, S. 234.
  9. Axis Forces in Yugoslavia 1941–45, Nigel Thomas, K. Mikulan, Darko Pavlović, Osprey Publishing, 1995, ISBN 1-85532-473-3, p. 33.
  10. World War II: The Mediterranean 1940–1945, World War II: Essential Histories, Paul Collier, Robert O'Neill, The Rosen Publishing Group, 2010, ISBN 1-4358-9132-5, p. 77.
  11. War and revolution in Yugoslavia, 1941–1945: occupation and collaboration, Jozo Tomasevich, Stanford University Press, 2001, ISBN 0-8047-3615-4, p. 168.
  12. "Zemra Shqiptare". Archived from the original on 5 October 2011. Retrieved 31 October 2015.
  13. Ramet, Sabrina P.; The Three Yugoslavias: State-building and Legitimation, 1918–2005; Indiana University Press, 2006 ISBN 0-253-34656-8
  14. Nikolaos Zahariadis, Essence of political manipulation: emotion, institutions, & Greek foreign policy, Peter Lang (publisher), 2005; ISBN 0820479039, p. 85.
  15. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Macedonia Official Site Archived 16 November 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  16. Ministry of Defence of Republic of Macedonia Archived 10 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  17. РЕШЕНИЕ на Антифашиското собрание на народното ослободуене на Македонија за заведуене на македонскиот јазик како службен јазик во македонската држава (Rješenje Antifašističkog sobranja narodnog oslobođenja Makedonije o uvođenju makedonskoga jezika kao službenog jezika u državi Makedoniji), dokument br. 8, 2. kolovoza 1944., Prohor Pčinjski, Metodije Andonov Čento (predsjedatelj ASNOM)
  18. Spasov, Ljudmil; Arizankovska, Lidija. Hierarhizacija jezikov v Republiki Makedoniji in Republiki Sloveniji glede na jezikovno politiko Evropske unije, (161. – 169.) Archived 18 September 2010 at the Wayback Machine u: Vidovič-Muha, Ada. (ur.) Slovenski knjižni jezik – aktualna vprašanja in zgodovinske izkušnje : ob 450-letnici izida prve slovenske knjige, Zbirka »Obdobja – metode in zvrsti« (vol. 20, ISSN 1408-211X), Center za slovenščino kot drugi/tuji jezik pri Oddelku za slovenistiko Filozofske fakultete Univerze v Ljubljani, Ljubljana, 2003., ISBN 961-237-057-5, str. 163., 164.
    Prvi člen Ustave SR Makedonije (Ustav na SRM, 1974) je SRM definiral kot nacionalno državo makedonskega naroda ter albanske in turške narodnosti v njej. V členih 220 in 222 je bilo zapisano, da ljudje lahko prosto uporabljajo svoj jezik in pisavo za izražanje in razvijanje svoje kulture.
    Vidovič-Muha, 2003., 163.
    Poleg tega so makedonske (in slovenske) javne osebe v okvirih SFRJ (zunaj SR Makedonije oziroma SR Slovenije) zelo redko upoštevale pravico do uporabe svojega jezika v javnem sporazumevanju, in to je dajalo vtis, da je edini uradni jezik na ravni države SFRJ srbohrvaščina.
    Vidovič-Muha, 2003., 164.
  19. Djokić, Dejan (2003). Yugoslavism: Histories of a Failed Idea, 1918–1992, C. Hurst & Co. Publishers (pg. 122); ISBN 1-85065-663-0.
  20. Macedonia: Warlords and Rebels in the Balkans by John Phillips, I.B. Tauris (publisher), 2004; ISBN 186064841X, p. 40.
  21. Archived 24 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  22. Faculty of Law, University of Skopje Archived 30 June 2012 at (in Macedonian)
  23. Sovereignty Declaration – Parliament of the Republic of Macedonia

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