VMRO-DPMNE is eager that we hold elections, but that can only happen after the coronavirus epidemic has been put under control, said the opposition party’s Vice President Aleksandar Nikoloski. He blamed the ruling SDSM party of reckless conduct as it insisted to hold a pre-election campaign, and now 80 SDSM officials are in quarantine.

We absolutely ant to have elections and we want to see the citizens have their say, but those elections require two prior steps. One is to conduct a serious fight against the virus and to reduce the numbers we are currently seeing. The other, is to reach consensus between all political parties through an open dialogue, Nikoloski said.

SDSM insists that the elections take place on July 5, the earliest possible date, which is rejected by the majority of the public as extremely unsafe. VMRO-DPMNE proposes dates in August or September, depending on when the epidemic is put under control.

We would be happiest if the numbers of newly infected patients begin to decline tomorrow. But we are seeing that it is not happening, we are happy to see below 50 new patients in a day. And now, because they conducted a pre-election campaign, there are 80 top SDSM party officials in isolation, as well as, we now hear, 200 employees of the UJP tax authority. This includes people who should have been withdrawn from the political campaign as they run independent institutions – the Financial Police director, the head of the Intelligence Agency, these are decidedly not partisan appointees, but we see that they were attending party meetings, Nikoloski said.

SDSM Vice President Muhamed Zekiri is positive to the virus, apparently after attending an iftar dinner during the month of Ramadan, as is UJP director Sanja Lukarevska. Both took part in numerous meetings in the SDSM party which led to dozens of top officials of the party and the Government to be forced into quarantine. These include two Government members – Mila Carovska and Damjan Mancevski.

Sadly,Macedonia is failing in its task, not only when compared to European countries – just look at the region and see the numbers, we are failing badly. The reason for this is the mad rush toward elections as Zaev hoped he would lose by a lower margin if the elections take place sooner, Nikoloski said.