Following the heated exchange with Ali Ahmeti yesterday, VMRO-DPMNE President Hristijan Mickoski again urged the voters to support his party in large numbers, and so put an end to Ahmeti’s threats.

In a display of nationalism yesterday, Ahmeti led thousands of supporters gathered on the main Macedonia Square in Skopje into chants of UCK, UCK – the name of his paramilitary group that he used to spark a civil war in 2001. Ahmeti openly threatened Mickoski “not to seek trouble”, as Mickoski is announcing that he will shun DUI in the post-election coalition making and will then, as head of the new Government, make sure that Ahmeti is investigated for his numerous corruption scandals. For this, Mickoski asks the voters to give him 61 seats in Parliament, that will allow him to freely choose coalition partners and not be pressured by Ahmeti, who is expected to narrowly win the ethnic Albanian vote.

If we have a unification around our platform on the level of a consensus then DUI will be fully delegitimized and no longer be a factor in the Macedonian political scene. We need a civic, political, societal unification around VMRO-DPMNE so that we can put an end to the defeats we have suffered, and which are the result of DUI policies and the policies of the SDS officials who are DUI’s hired hands, Mickoski said in a Sitel TV interview.

In the fiery speech on Sunday evening, when DUI booked the central rallying location in Skopje, Ahmeti portrayed Mickoski as a young politician who “still smells of milk”, while he is a war tested leader “who grew up in a tower of rocks”. While thousands of his supporters waved Albanian flags, Ahmeti shouted that he will shut Mickoski up and then led the group in the chants of “UCK”.

It’s sad that in the end of his political career, instead of being an ideologue, he shows all of his primitivism. I also regret that the indications of crime that we reveal to the public, that lead to DUI and the Ahmeti family, is portrayed by him as his campaign to protect Albanian national interests. If he truly is a person who advances the rule of law in Macedonia, he should condemn these allegations and not protect his family members and his party leaders who are involved. The majority of Albanians in Macedonia reject these crimes with disgust, and Ahmeti risks being remembered not as ideologue guarded in a tower of rocks, he will end his career as a petty crook, Mickoski added.

Mickoski was in Lozovo today to urge the voters to make sure DUI does not make inroads in the 3rd electoral district, where the party is courting the Roma and Turkish vote, hoping to win a seat in this largely Macedonian district, as DUI faces losing many of the seats it now holds in the majority Albanian 6th district to the growing Albanian opposition bloc VLEN. Ahmeti responded through the Albanian language TV21, where he reminded Mickoski that he retired nine Macedonian leaders and can retire him as well.

The SDSM party, which has enabled DUI’s unprecedented powergrab in the past four years, has been quiet on the issue of the dispute between DUI and VMRO. SDSM leaders are still hoping that, even as they are projected to lose to VMRO, they will be able to form a Government helped by DUI and some or all of the opposition Albanian parties. But if SDSM’s results are worse than those in the narrowly divided elections of 2020, as is likely according to the polls, such a Government would mean even greater expansion of DUI appetites. Mickoski has alleged that SDSM is prepared to give DUI as much as 70 percent of all seats in Government and public institutions whose control is traditionally replaced with every change of Government.