Is he the Macedonian envoy to Bulgaria, or the Bulgarian envoy to Macedonia, sarcastically asked VMRO official Ilija Dimovski after the Zaev Government announced it is appointing former Prime Minister Vlado Buckovski as its envoy to Bulgaria.
Buckovski was SDSM party leader and Prime Minister between 2015 and 2016, when the party, like now, faced a major faction and lost the 2016 elections to VMRO-DPMNE and its leader Nikola Gruevski. Buckovski faced numerous corruption allegations, often put forward by rivals in SDSM, including the major Deutsche Telekom scandal and his fraudulent procurement of spare tank parts for a large contingent of T-55 tanks which Bulgaria gifted to Macedonia in the late 1990-ies.
While fighting off corruption allegations, for which he was sentenced but never served prison, the Roman law professor joined another former Prime Minister – Ljubco Georgievski – in becoming a strong proponent of Bulgarian interests in Macedonia. While Zaev faces open rebellion from former President and Prime Minister Branko Crvenkovski, and strong criticism from former President Gjorge Ivanov, Buckovski and Georgievski stand by Zaev in his new, fully conciliatory policy toward Bulgaria, which prompted the sarcastic remark from Ilija Dimovski.