Bulgarian nationalist Krasimir Karakacanov lamented the fact that Bulgaria did not get Zoran Zaev to accept their demands before he announced his resignation after the local elections defeat. Karakacanov condemned the string of electoral wins for VMRO-DPMNE, given that the party is far less open to accepting Bulgarian demands than Zaev’s SDSM.

This election outcome is a protest vote, and that doesn’t resolve the problems. In fact in only deepens them, Karakacanov said.

Bulgaria is blocking Macedonia from opening EU accession talks as it demands major concessions from Zaev on issues of national identity and history. Zaev signaled he is ready to accept Bulgaria’s demands, which led to divisions in his party. Zaev then overcompensated with an over-the-top campaign accusing the VMRO-DPMNE mayoral candidate in Skopje of being a “Bulgarian agent”, which failed to swing the elections in his favor.