Montenegrin businessman Miodrag Davidovic – Daka is front and center in the news in Macedonia, after it was revealed that first order of business for the SDSM – DUI coalition was to approve changes in the urban plans of the city of Tetovo, to enable a grand development project for his company. VMRO-DPMNE official Aleksandar Nikoloski estimates that the huge deal can result in profits for Daka of up to 200 million EUR.

Leaks published earlier this year showed Daka in contact with Zoran Mileski – Zoki Kiceec, a notorious fixer close to the ruling SDSM party, who was sentenced in the major Racket scandal. In the tapes between Daka and Kiceec, the Montenegrin businessman says how angry he is that despite paying 300,000 EUR to Kiceec to secure the meeting with Zaev, his businesses are still stuck. On top of the SIK Jelak development, he was planning to go into construction of renewable energy plants – a business often dependent on Government subsidies.

Kiceec is heard offering Daka, who is currently newly empowered with the election results in Montenegro, a meeting with Dragi Raskovski, who is one of Zoran Zaev’s chief lieutenants. Daka refuses the offer saying that he knows he will just face demands to pay more money to Zaev. “I don’t want to see him again, he’ll just me for more money to fund his referendum”, Daka says. This indicates that Zaev was soliciting bribes from businessmen using the 2018 name change referendum as an excuse – probably that he needed the money to fund the “yes” campaign which eventually failed miserably in trying to secure the necessary turnout.

Davidovic was a former Montenegrin intelligence officer who was active in the Serbian separatist movement in eastern Bosnia. After the war he went into oil and alcohol and at several points took over the large Niksic metal plant and was elected Mayor of Niksic. His close links with Montenegrin leader Milo Djukanovic soured over time and he became a supporter of the pro-Serbian parties and was often pointed out as financial backer of pro-Russian causes in the country, including the alleged coup attempt in 2016. The attempt caused uproar in the west, with many NATO countries insisting they will protect Montenegro from Russian involvement.

Davidovic was best man at the wedding of Momir Bulatovic, who was, along with Djukanovic, the main power shaker in Montenegro. Bulatovic died last year. Most recently, Davidovic survived an assassination attempt in Belgrade in December last year. It was perpetrated in the Crown Plaza hotel, known as the site of the 2000 assassination of Serbian warlord Zeljko Raznatovic Arkan. Daka was shot by a single attacker and barely survived.