Zoran Zaev wants a controlled opposition as a means to prolonging his reign, warned VMRO-DPMNE Vice President Aleksandar Nikoloski. VMRO-DPMNE is facing period attempts from a faction of former party officials, led by Saso Mijalkov, to remove party leader Hristijan Mickoski. This faction is by now openly coordinating its activities with Zaev.

We kept proposing a broad Government of national unity that would deal with the healthcare crisis, the economic crisis and the dispute with Bulgaria. But Zaev wants a situation where he will appoint the leadership of VMRO-DPMNE. We will not allow him to do so. He believes tha the will rule forever if he gets what he wants, Nikoloski said in an interview with Sitel TV.

Mijalkov’s spectacular escape from the country in the midst of a push by his faction to topple Mickoski was widely seen as coordinated with Zaev. But he was forced to return to Macedonia under international pressure. Still, Zaev followed up this scandal with new moves clearly designed to divide VMRO and to install people under his thumb into the party.