Former President, Prime Minister and SDSM grey eminence Branko Crvenkovski refused calls from Republika to discuss his criticism of current Prime Minister and SDSM leader Zoran Zaev. Crvenkovski was highly critical of Zaev over his BGNES interview in which Zaev accepted all demands from Bulgaria and called for a complete rewriting of Macedonian history.

Former President, Prime Minister and founder of the ruling SDSM party Branko Crvenkovski stands by his decision not to give media statements, his office responded to Republika’s calls.

In an unprecedented move, both living former Presidents, Crvenkovski and Gjorge Ivanov, criticized Zaev immediately after his interview. A number of top former SDSM party officials such as Andrej Petrov, Zoran Jovanovski and Ilinka Mitreva also criticized Zaev, joining Crvenkovski’s call for his ouster. And current President Stevo Pendarovski made a comment critical of Zaev’s “historic revisionism”.

Zaev responded with insults to both Crvenkovski and Pendarovski. In the case of Crvenkovski, Zaev said that the freezing of his membership in SDSM, which Crvenkovski announced, has been a fact for a long time. As for Pendarovski, in the BGNES interview Zaev apologized on his behalf for his comments, saying that Pendarovski is not a very experienced politician.

This open rift in the ruling hasn’t materialized in the streets or in the Parliament yet. The protests organized against Zaev’s new Bulgaria policy, which he didn’t put into effect, were mostly led by the opposition VMRO-DPMNE party, with Levica joining in. Zaev has been able to maintain his majority in Parliament for several controversial issues such as the openly corrupt Makpetrol law. But an upcoming vote of no confidence in Deputy Prime Minister Nikola Dimitrov, who has thin support in SDSM, could be an initial test of how deep the Bulgaria rift really is.