After many top SDSM party officials rose against their party leader and Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, following his BGNES interview and massive surrender to Bulgaria on all issues of historic and national identity, his main ally in the party Radmila Sekerinska remained alone in support of Zaev. The Defense Minister and deputy SDSM party leader was asked by the press about Zaev’s comments that cast doubt on the character of the Bulgarian occupation in the Second World War and on the separate identity of the Macedonian nation.
As a Government and as individuals we are doing all in our might not to be held hostages to history. The dark pages of Balkan history should not be our fate and if the European nations found strength to not forget but forgive, so should we. Our attempt as a Government is to find solutions that will secure our European future. The plan, the policy and the desire of the Prime Minister is to open a few more doors for cooperation between (North) Macedonia and Bulgaria, and not to allow the events of 70 years ago to be the only thing we are discussing now in the 21st century. Fascism has no ethnicity. Today, when we talk about our relations to Germany, we don’t allow our relations, or the relations between France and Germany, to be dominated by the issue of the fascist past. The question is not whether we will read or forget history. We should remember history. The question is whether we should make decisions now based only on what was happening 70 years ago. I think that the majority of the citizens who are strong supporters of the anti-fascist struggle in Macedonia want to see our future as such a chance, and not be hostages to history, Sekerinska said.
SDSM is facing an open revolt of its “urban wing” often seen as aligned to Sekerinska and President Stevo Pendarovski – people who come from families that were in the leadership of the former Communist Party and who built careers on the basis of the partisan struggle against Bulgaria in the Second World War. Former President Branko Crvenkovski as well as former top party officials such as Zoran Jovanovski and Andrej Petrov, are openly calling on Zaev to resign or criticizing his interview.