Skopje Mayor Petre Silegov (SDSM) met with Arjanit Hoxha, Secretary General of the BESA party, to discuss possible support from the party for the crucial second round of the elections.

Silegov lost the first round against the VMRO-DPMNE backed candidate Danela Arsovska, and his party leader Zoran Zaev staked his position as Prime Minister on Silegov winning in the run-off this Sunday. Amid an especially ugly SDSM campaign against Arsovska, who is being labeled by Silegov’s men as a “Bulgarian agent”, Silegov is now trying to secure the votes of the Albanian minority in the city – after losing convincingly among ethnic Macedonians. Silegov raised the prospect of naming not one, like now, but two deputy mayors who would be ethnic Albanians, in an attempt to satisfy the demands of all SDSM coalition partners.

BESA is part of the SDSM led ruling coalition but has also fluctuated in its support for SDSM while its leader Bilal Kasami courts opposition votes in his own race for Mayor of Tetovo. Different BESA officials have pulled in different directions as to whether the party should continue to prop up the Zaev regime, or switch to the growing VMRO-DPMNE led coalition.