Stevo Pendarovski, who is running for re-election in the presidential vote, dismissed the move by VMRO-DPMNE to cease in-fighting with other Macedonian parties like ZNAM and Levica. According to Pendarovski, the proposal, which was already accepted by ZNAM, is a “sign of weakness”.

We are not turning to our friends to ask for help in the middle of the campaign. To me, it looks like a clear sign of weakness, because Mickoski knows what he can expect on April 24th and May 8th. Otherwise, why would he ask for help from others?, Pendarovski said during a rally in Skopje’s Butel district.

Levica rejected the offer, and seems eager to help SDSM by taking some votes from VMRO. But the growing ZNAM party, whose leader Maksim Dimitrievski recently split from SDSM and is also running for President, said that it’s in line with his values and went a step further, openly discussing a post-election coalition with VMRO. This is bad news for SDSM as it would put VMRO in a position to freely choose an Albanian partner after the elections even if the party doesn’t get to a majority of 61 votes in Parliament. Polls show that VMRO and ZNAM could get to 61 together and will be able to choose the preferred VLEN bloc of Albanian opposition parties as their third coalition partner.