VMRO-DPMNE President Hristijan Mickoski called on Zoran Zaev to drop his attempts to shore up his crumbling coalition, and to agree to early elections. Zaev narrowly survived an attempted vote of no confidence last week, when an opposition member of Parliament went missing – and was apparently held against his will.

Zaev, who hasn’t been seen in the public for almost a week, said that he is now trying to bring other small opposition parties to prop up his coalition, offering lavish posts and perks, after he lost the majority with the defection of the BESA party. VMRO-DPMNE overwhelmingly won the local elections, signaling that Zaev’s SDSM party has completely lost the public trust, which prompted Zaev to announce his resignation, only to see retract it days later.

The people needs to decide what we do next in early general elections, that need to take place as soon as possible. There all will be able to give their opinion on the actions of the SDSM and DUI parties, who are reckless towrad the citizens and the state. I urge them to come to their senses immediately, and that we hold early general elections that will represent the people of Macedonia and work for their interests, Mickoski said during an event in Kisela Voda where the recently elected Mayor from VMRO-DPMNE was breaking ground on new water installations.

Mickoski decried the decision of Zaev’s SDSM party not to allow the representatives of its numerous coalition partners to attend the vote last Thursday, leaving VMRO-DPMNE and the opposition bloc, with 60 votes, to await word on the fate of the missing BESA member of Parliament Kastriot Rexhepi.

Right now we have 60 votes for the VMRO-DPMNE led bloc, 59 for them and one who we don’t know where he stands. Why didn’t Zaev allow his representatives to vote, the result would still have been 60 to 59, and the no-confidence motion in his Government would have failed. Did he not trust his own members of Parliament?, Mickoski said, hinting that more parties from Zaev’s coalition want out but are kept in place through intimidation.

During his remarks, Mickoski also called on the European Union to finally approve the opening of EU accession talks with Macedonia. He said that Macedonia will accept any solution to the dispute with Bulgaria that is in line with the resolution adopted recently in the Macedonian Parliament – that rejects attempts to deny the history and the genesis of the Macedonian nation.

We were told by Zaev that we have no more open issues with our neighbors, but obviously that was another lie. Our people have often stood in defense of the European civilizational values, and this time Europe needs to pay us back and stop blackmailing Macedonia with new demands for concessions. VMRO-DPMNE will not accept those concessions. We need the negotiations green-lit now and Macedonia must begin its accession talks, Mickoski said.