Former Prime Minister and SDSM leader Vlado Buckovski warned that Zoran Zaev will pay the price for the amnesty deals he has cut with the blackmailed opposition members of Parliament who are lending him the support to rename Macedonia into North Macedonia.

As a politician who is building a good image of the country abroad, he is aware that he will pay a political price. But that was the only way to secure the three votes he needed in the Parliament to push through the constitutional amendments. This outcome is certainly more important than the rule of law, said Buckovski, who is also professor at the Law Faculty, and, like Zaev, was himself charged of corruption but never served prison time.

Three members of Parliament who voted with Zaev to open the process of amending the Constitution were pardoned with a tailor made law, while at least three more expect direct or indirect pardons under the changes to the Criminal Code which significantly watered down provisions against abuse of office – the catch all article often used by the Special Prosecutor to go after former VMRO-DPMNE officials. The amnesties faced criticism from some of the former Colored Revolution activists, but nothing like the outrage from international representatives in Macedonia who were extremely critical when President Ivanov gave a broad amnesty to all facing politically motivated charges in 2016.