VMRO-DPMNE deputy leader Aleksandar Nikoloski called opposition supporters to unite behind the VMRO presidential candidate, and not to fall for any initiative to boycott the presidential elections. Calls to boycott the vote appeared after the SDSM led ruling coalition refused to accept holding early general elections along with the presidential elections, and in doing so avoided the increased scrutiny of the work of the Government which goes with general elections.

VMRO-DPMNE is a political party which wants to make decisions and wants to win elections. In order to win you must first participate. Our goal is to win the presidential elections, not to see them fail. And we will win, Nikoloski told the Lider news site, a day ahead of the Struga convention where the party will elect its nominee.

Early general elections would’ve led to a resignation of Prime Minister Zoran Zaev and several key ministers would be replaced with opposition nominees, ensuring that the state aparatus is not abused in the run up and on the day of the elections.

A grassroots boycott movement, especially active among VMRO supporters, determined the outcome of the September 2018 referendum to rename Macedonia, where only 36 percent of all voters turned up, making the referendum invalid. Some of the boycott activists are calling the public to ignore the presidential elections as well and to send a message that they won’t legitimize the name change which was pushed through the Macedonian Parliament despite the outcome of the referendum.

In his interview, Nikoloski warns that the country is facing serious difficulties, and accused the SDSM led Government of using the prospects of joining NATO to cover up the on-going economic collapse.

They raise the NATO flag because they’re unable to open a new factory. Yesterday we heard that a company which was scouting out Macedonia and was planning to open a factory here, relocated to Serbia. In SDSM they believe they can fool the people with ceremonies, but that won’t happen, Nikoloski said.