Zoran Jovanovski, a former top official of the SDSM party and a candidate for party leadership, strongly condemned current leader Zoran Zaev over his shocking BGNES interview, in which he readily agreed to all Bulgarian positions toward Macedonia. One of the statements Zaev made was that private individuals who make “unfriendly” comments aimed at Bulgaria will be fined.

I see he wants to go after hate speech toward foreign peoples and countries. Is there also a fine for hate speech against your own nation and country?, Jovanovski said, in a comment clearly aimed at Zaev.

SDSM has long built its legitimacy and claim to power, especially during the communist times, on the guerrilla campaigns against Bulgarian forces in Macedonia during World War Two. That is why Zaev’s complete surrender to Bulgaria is so especially jarring for many in the leftist party.