VMRO-DPMNE leader Hristijan Mickoski called on Prime Minister Zoran Zaev to “stop hiding” in Germany and come back to Macedonia to declare early general elections. In aninterview with Press24, Mickoski  says that the series of moves by Zaev to rename Macedonia and to make the Albanian language a second official language, all done with backdrop of political oppression, have to be reversed.

Many things I warned about actually happened. If we win the support of the voters, a lot will change. I will do all I can to reverse the injustice. We have a plan. Macedonian citizens have to understand that they have the actual power here and must carefully analyze things. We are faced with the assassination of our country. Zaev changed the Constitution, the name, the identity, the character of the country, not to mention the economic disaster. Zaev is a national embarrassment. But, he’s making mistakes, he’s underestimating the people and he will be punished. They rule by pressures and threats, by rigging the process. Zaev should stop hiding in that ski resort in Germany. Come and let’s have elections, I’m certain that VMRO-DPMNE and the people will win and Zaev will fall, and badly, Mickoski said in the interview.

If early general elections are to be held in late April, along with the regularly scheduled presidential elections, Zaev and his key ministers would have to resign within days, so that opposition nominated candidates can run these departments for 100 days ahead of the elections, in order to ensure the vote is free and fair.

Mickoski denounced the Government for its systemic assault on political opponents, naming the latest case when activist and heir to the Cento family name, Jane Cento, was attacked by guards in the prison where he has been kept for over a year under charges of “terrorism”.

The Government is going down and is losing control. And desperate people make desperate measures. Observe the latest case with Jane Cento. They let him go under house arrest and detained him immediately again. Now the prison police is beating him up, an unarmed man. It is clearly a fabricated case for political reasons. There are many such cases and many more are being prepared, said Mickoski.

Asked whether VMRO-DPMNE will be able to form a coalition with ethnic Albanian parties following early elections, Mickoski said that VMRO-DPMNE will primarily form a coalition wirh the citizens, and that any talks with Albanian politicians will be based on principles and not naked populism. According to Mickoski, the concessions Zaev is making to Albanian voters are meant to stir nationalism and populism and appeal to base passions.

The VMRO-DPMNE leader expressed support for the protesters from Skopje’s farmers markets, who are standing up against the increased taxes and regulations imposed by the Zaev Government. He listed a number of other workers whose businesses are suffering, and painted a dire picture of the economic prospects as the Government is unable to move forward with already prepared infrastructure projects.

They are rolling out an infrastructure plan worth 4.2 billion EUR, but are not telling you that it is meant until 2030, a period in which we will spend budgets worth 40 billion EUR. And even these 4.2 billion they will not be able to use properly. Zaev is talking about the Cebren and Galiste dam, where the previous Government prepared a study, but even if all goes at top speed, the ground breaking would not happen in at least three years. They are talking about building the gas delivery network, but in fact they slowed this process down, it will take at least a decade under their pace, Mickoski warned.