Members of the Macedonian Parliament voted to keep Oliver Spasovski as Interior Minister, after the vote of no confidence in him received 20 votes in favor and 59 against.

The opposition VMRO-DPMNE party initated the vote of no confidence over the systematic abuse of the police, instituted by Spasovski, in attacks against political opponents.

VMRO also accused Spasovski of failing to investigate a series of murders, crime and corruption, or even actively cooperating with criminals. It became the norm that after a murder or some other crime, the perpetrator’s Facebook page shows his pictures with the Interior Minister, and criminals close to the ruling SDSM and DUI parties are using their pictures with top party officials as proof of their impunity. The failure to control crime in the country caused several kidnapping scares in the capital Skopje and especially in the northern Roma area of Shuto Orizari.

Under Spasovski, the police raided the office of VMRO-DPMNE, searching opposition officials and activists as they went in or out of the building. Oppositions officials from former Speaker Trajko Veljanoski, former ministers and current members of Parliament were arrested, but so were party members down to activists accused of painting graffiti with political messages. Spasovski instituted the practice that police orders questioning of commentators who receive “hate speech” complaints from NGO groups associated with his SDSM party, in a move to silence critical speech.

Spasovski is seen as absolutely loyal to Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, and was his first choice for the presidential nomination, which eventually went to Stevo Pendarovski, in a move to appease the party’s more urban, Skopje based wing.