VMRO-DPMNE leader Hristijan Mickoski pushed back against the questions from a Telma TV journalist that the opposition party should hold a congress and allow a faction built around former security chief Saso Mijalkov to attempt a take-over of the party. The push to splinter the opposition, largely promoted by the Zaev regime, was initiated after the chaotic July 15 election, after which SDSM reconstituted its coalition with the DUI party, but with a far reduced majority.

While we are talking about the complete debacle in our country, you’re reading me the VMRO-DPMNE statute. I received support from the Central Committee, the local party branches, the youth and the women’s organization. It would be cowardly for me to step down, Mickoski told journalist Snezana Lupevska during their interview.

A number of former party officials, many of whom have over the past several years openly supported SDSM and even voted with Zaev, have joined the push, which that culminated a month ago but has since dissipated.

Mickoski said that he has become the last obstacle to the spread of crime and corruption in Macedonia, which is the main reason why he is being attacked.

They’re going at me from all sides. These are the mafia which plundered the Eurostandard Bank, who are pushing the country into debt. It’s a privilege to be the most vilified politician on the part of these criminals, it only motivates me to work harder and with more resolution, Mickoski said.