Zoran Zaev and Ali Ahmeti are expected to meet on Friday evening to reveal the name of their joint presidential candidate, as many media outlets today reported that Zaev has decided on a loyalist – Interior Minister Oliver Spasovski – who is in the forefront of the campaign of political persecution which the SDSM party is carrying out against the opposition.

According to reports from outlets from both sides of the political divide, the main remaining candidate, besides Spasovski, is the loser of the 2014 presidential elections Stevo Pendarovski, also an Interior Ministry alum who, unlike Zaev and Spasovski, is seen as representative of the more urban SDSM wing. The two other “urban” candidates – Radmila Sekerinska and Nikola Dimitrov, are not considered to be running any more, wrote Plusinfo, a news site close to SDSM.

According to DUI, on the other hand, all four candidates remain in the ring, and it is expected that DUI will try to compensate its support for Spasovski by asking for his Interior Ministry.

Zaev remained silent after his meeting with Ahmeti on Wednesday, while Ahmeti revealed that the two parties have ironed out their differences which dominated in the Parliament in the past few days and have decided on a “consensual” candidate. The designation means a candidate who would likely be Macedonian, but would be acceptable to the Albanian voters represented by DUI. Eager to show the increase in their support, opposition Albanian parties BESA and Alliance of Albanians are expected to run with an ethnic Albanian candidate, with professor Blerim Reka seen as their most obvious choice.
According to the polls, Spasovski or Pendarovski would run against opposition VMRO-DPMNE nominee professor Gordana Siljanovska in the second round of the elections, expected on May 5th.