Deputy Finance Minister Dimitar Kovacevski confirmed that he will run for leader of the SDSM party, after Zoran Zaev, who is on his way out, endorsed the little known former telecom executive. The party is now accepting candidacies, and anyone who has been an SDSM member for more than five years, and was elected to any position by the party Congress, can run. It’s expected that former intelligence officer Mile Zecevic will be among the candidates.

Faktor reports that, besides Zaev, Kovacevski will also be endorsed by Defense Minister Radmila Sekerinska, who will not try to get another term as party leader. He could try to mend the rift between Zaev’s wing and the older, Crvenkovski faction in the party, with the endorsement from Igor Ivanovski – Shema and Leonid Nakov, SDSM officials close to Branko Crvenkovski. The site also reports that the Karpos branch of the party, which is one of the strongest individual branches despite its humiliating loss in the local elections, will also rally behind Kovacevski, closing another rift that Zaev opened – between the Skopje based party officials and those from more rural parts of the country, which he represented.

The party will hold its elections on December 12th, when over 50,000 party members will be able to vote for the new leader, less than a year since they elected Zaev in the same way.