Faced with growing public anger over its deadly incompetence, as evident in the Tetovo hospital fire, the Zaev regime turned to a Bulgarian pollster to shore up its own supporters. In a poll published exclusively by media outlets strongly supportive of the Zaev regime, the Bulgarian Brima agency declares that Zaev and SDSM lead VMRO-DPMNE and its leader Hristijan Mickoski in the run up to the elections.

According to Brima, SDSM leads VMRO by 19.5 to 17.5 percent, and Zaev’s Albanian coalition partners DUI lead the Albanian parties partnered with VMRO (AA and Alternative) with 7.2 to 6 percent. Another of Zaev’s Albanian coalition partners, BESA, are given additional 4.7 percent in the poll, a level that this party has never achieved before.

The poll flies in the face of the recently published NDI polls which showed SDSM significantly behind VMRO. Even the media outlets who published the poll acknowledge that it was taken before the catastrophic fire in Tetovo, which hurt Zaev especially badly among the ethnic Albanian voters.

The agency that was contracted frequently comes to Zaev’s aid in difficult times. It is led by Bulgarian pollster Andrei Raichev, who has openly supported Zaev’s 2017 treaty with Bulgaria and does not hide that he sees Zaev’s continued reign as beneficial to Bulgarian interests.