Interior Minister Oliver Spasovski, who comes from the SDSM party, threatened his coalition partner DUI with criminal charges and investigations. Spasovski made the threat as DUI announced it will run its own presidential candidate and will not necessarily support the SDSM candidate if it doesn’t have a strong enough say in selecting him.

Political parties should not be afraid of fighting crime, even if it is in their own ranks. That strengthens the capacity of the political parties and improves trust in them, Spasovski said in an interview with 1TV.

DUI has been dogged by charges of corruption during its 13 years in office, but has never faced a serious corruption investigation, and its leadership also received pardons for the war crimes they perpetrated in the 2001 war. SDSM raised the issue of alleged abuse in the PIOM state retirement fund, ran by DUI, and this sparked a confrontation within the party, with DUI officials demanding an apology both from SDSM but also from journalists who reported the SDSM claims. DUI leader Ali Ahmeti recently faced a revolt in the party when several officials were told to be under investigation by the Special Prosecutor’s Office (SPO), but it is expected that the charges will be dropped after the Supreme Court ruled that the SPO can’t initiate new cases after mid 2017.

During his interview Spasovski denied that Macedonia is facing a crime wave, after a coffee shop in downtown Skopje was attacked with a rocket propelled grenade launcher and a Halk bank north of the city was robbed by five men carrying automatic rifles.

There is no overall increase in crime levels, the reports are due soon and on the contrary, there is a decrease, Spasovski insisted.