Former head of the State Electoral Commission Aleksandar Cicakovski, who was a nominee of the SDSM party, is being groomed for a seat on the Administrative Court, reports. According to the news site, Cicakovski has the support of Justice Minister Renata Deskovska and is her personal choice for the seat.

An ad for a seat on the court was published, but the link to it has suspiciously gone missing, possibly to discourage competing nominations. Two seats are open, one for an ethnic Macedonian and the other for an ethnic Albanian, but the Macedonian one is exceptionally difficult to find online. Cicakovski led the State Electoral Commission during the hard fought revote of the controversial 2016 early general elections, which party eventually lost, but managed to form the Government anyway due to pressure exerted on the ethnic Albanian parties.

The case of the missing ad throws additional doubt on the independence of the Macedonian judiciary, especially after the scandalous letter from US Ambassador Jess Baily, who publicly distanced himself from the widespread reports that he and people from the Embassy are ordering court cases to be brought against opposition officials and are calling the shots as to who gets to go to prison or in detention.