Zaev’s promise to purge the most corrupt members of his Government has sparked a confrontation among his ministers. After insisting that the DUI party will not allow its ministers to be purged without approval from Ali Ahmeti, Deputy Prime Minister Bujar Osmani is now openly pushing for changes in the economics departments.
In several public appearances, Osmani said that the Government is underperforming in the economy and that any personnel changes should be focused there. He did not specify which ministers he would like removed. One of them, the Economy Minister Kreshnik Bekteshi is from DUI, but most of the rest are from SDSM. The list includes Finance Minister Dragan Tevdovski, Deputy Prime Minister Koco Angusev – who is facing a series of corruption investigations, and Goran Sugareski who has failed to complete even nearly finished infrastructure projects as Transportation Minister.
Labour and Welfare Minister Mila Carovska is the only open DUI target, after she raised allegations of corruption on the part of DUI officials in the PIOM state run retirement fund.
Zaev promised an “operation broom” after losing 2/5 of the support for his combined coalition in just a year and a half – from the 2017 municipal elections to the first round of the recent presidential elections. SDSM members and lower level officials are proposing names of corrupt ministers who should be purged on a daily basis, often through their social media accounts ever since Zaev made his statement.