VMRO-DPMNE deputy leader Aleksandar Nikoloski blamed the Zaev Government of subservience to the Albanian Government of Edi Rama, which contributed to the tying of the European Union perspectives of both countries.

We all saw how the municipal elections in Albania were conducted. No other country in Europe has held one – party elections, with only one candidate at the ballot. That is not democracy, that is dictatorship and Communism. A humiliation of democracy when nobody else would participate in elections knowing they were already bought and sold for, Nikoloski writes in an editorial published in the daily Nezavisen.

Following the largely boycotted elections and the series of unruly protests, Albania is seen as slipping further away from the opening of EU accession talks. Meanwhile, Macedonia is seen as part of a group with Albania, as it expects to be given a date to open EU accession talks.

Notable European newspapers are publishing evidence about Edi Rama’s crimes and bribery of voters. This Rama and such Albania are unfortunately Macedonia’s partners in our EU integrations. We wish all the best to all who live in Albania, we wish them prosperity, we disagree with their leader and his tactics, but not with the citizens of the country. But Rama is Zaev’s partner and since last winter they have a deal to keep Macedonia and Albania in the same group, Nikoloski said.

Some politicians from the Macedonian ruling coalition, such as Stevo Pendarovski, called for “decoupling” of the two countries, but after Rama responded to such calls, Pendarovski quickly pulled back.

EU leaders, at the European Council in October should discuss the issue about whether the two countries will be given a date to begin accession talks.