The ever more noticeable omission of the adjective “North” in statements from SDSM party officials is linked with the coming elections, believes journalist Branko Geroski. The one-time SDSM supporter who turned on the party and broke much of the news regarding its major Racket scandal believes that the initial attempt to stick “North” onto Macedonia as a single adjective or a short name for the country has by now largely failed.

Zaev used plainly “Macedonian” in his tweets congratulating the Honeyland movie on its two Oscar nominations and in his tweets at the handball team which competes in the European championship, although in the latter case he also used the Maceodnian flag emoji and “MK”. Whereas he once had multiple uses of “North” in a single sentence, now you have to go at least ten days down Zaev’s social media timelines to find a reference to “North Macedonia”.

This was no coincidence. There was an attempt in the SDSM supporting public to engage in social engineering, and to use the new name “North Macedonia” as a short name for the country, despite the fact that the noun Macedonia is the basis of the name and should be the short name. But a group of commentators tried to create a new adjective, a new name for the nation, even meddled in the anthem, Geroski said in a TV interview.

Meanwhile, the public was shocked to realize that Zaev’s family Christmas tree has an ornament with the imposed name “North Macedonia” stamped on it. But, with the elections set for April 12th, and Zaev’s SDSM party down dramatically in the polls, especially among ethnic Macedonians, it seems that his only option to avoid defeat is to reduce the use of the name which is seen as a national humiliation by most Macedonians.