Former interim Interior Minister Nake Culev dismissed remarks from SDSM presidential candidate Stevo Pendarovski, that Albanians were heavily discriminated against in hiring in the security services. Pendarovski named an ethnic Albanian, Erold Musliu, as head of the AR intelligence agency, and insisted that before him “Albanians could only do landscaping jobs in the agency”.

Pendarovski is dismissing the contributions of many ethnic Albanians who were our colleagues in the AR, and worked on sensitive positions. Shejnasi Memeti held a managerial position there since the founding o the Agency, and was named deputy intelligence director. He was certainly no gardener there. Also, our respected colleague Muhamed Ismaili was deputy director between 2003 and 2015, again, not hired to mow the lawn. Erold Musliu was also on managerial positions, and under President Ivanov, he was named assistant director for coordination of operations, said Culev, who was also director of the AR agency.

Pendarovski is fully aware that he will lose the Macedonian vote in the coming presidential elections, and is trying to make up for this deficit by courting the Albanian vote, using Albanian national grievances and allegations of discrimination.

Under Pendarovski, several ethnic Albanians were also enlisted in the Army’s elite special operations unit – The Wolves. This unit was extremely resistant to hiring Albanians, given the bitter experience in 2001, when their soldiers were ambushed by the Albanian UCK, brutally murdered and also, like other army units, faced information leaks during their operations.