During the rally in Bitola, VMRO-DPMNE President Hristijan Mickoski revealed details from the failed attempts by Zoran Zaev to get VMRO to support the name change. Mickoski said that Zaev offered him a choice of any five seats in the Government in exchange for his support for the name change.

In January 2018, during our meetings in the Parliamentarian’s Club, I told Zaev that VMRO-DPMNE and the people will never support the name change and he agreed with me. There are minutes. In March, I repeated the same position. Zaev still negotiated in secret, partitioned our country. In May, again in the Club, Zaev told me that the proposed name is “Ilinden Macedonia”. “You wish”, I responded, told him that is a ruse to get him to agree to a full name change and then, in TV debate, I told him that he will ultimately agree to a much different proposal. And he did, in order to avoid going to prison for all his crimes. The same day he accepted the new name, he was released by the Skopje Court from corruption charges, Mickoski said.

After the Prespa treaty was signed, and clearly rejected by the public, Zaev continued to ask for opposition support to get it approved in the September 2018 referendum.

In July we negotiated for five hours. He asked me to join his Government and have a pick of whichever five seats I want, if I agreed to the deal. But my dignity is not for sale. We are not doing this for money or power, or for his charity. I told him to enjoy this moment of fame, because we all know, he’s doing this all just for money, Mickoski said.

The referendum ultimately failed, with a turnout of mere 36 percent, and the name change was rammed through Parliament with the help of arrested, blackmailed and bribed members of Parliament.