Zaev intends to promote the tax authority director Sonja Lukarevska to the position of SDSM party deputy leader currently held by Radmila Sekerinska.

Sekerinska unexpectedly announced that she is not in the running for another term on the position that ensured the so-called “urban wing” of the party, which includes many Skopje based officials, equal representation with Zaev’s “rural wing”. Since 2013, Zaev and Sekerinska were co-leaders of the party, and while Zaev clearly had the first place, it was understood that Sekerinska can effect over 40 percent of personnel decisions as well as influence key party moves.

Faktor now reports that Zaev plans to keep a female candidate from the Skopje branch of the party in her stead, and has decided to go with Lukarevska. According to Faktor, Zaev is also considering some changes in the rank of Vice Presidents of the party. One would be to replace the de-facto leader of the Albanian wing of the party, Muhamed Zekiri, who is now Zaev’s chief of staff, with the Deputy Prime Minister Fatmir Bytiqi. Other candidates for this post are Interior Minister Oliver Spasovski and Healthcare Minister Venko Filipce, but reportedly not the darling of the far left circles in the party – Mila Carovska.