Healthcare Minister Venko Filipce announced that he will not run for SDSM party leader. Filipce was a rising star of the Zaev Government at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, even though he was not a prominent party member.

But as the death toll in Macedonia set European records and reports of his alleged corruption involving the vaccine procurement spread, his star dimmed. He has been politically spent after the disastrous hospital fire on September 8th that killed 14 patients and family members.

Filipce is now expected to line up behind Zaev’s handpicked successor, Deputy Finance Minister Dimitar Kovacevski.