Earlier this week the Tetovo municipal council, led by the ruling coalition of SDSM and DUI, approved a change in the spatial plans that will allow a controversial businessman from Montenegro to build a huge residential complex. Businessman Miodrag Davidovic – Daka is known as a major supporter of the pro-Russian and pro-Serbian political parties in Montenegro. A series of leaks showed that he has bought land in Tetovo and received an audience with Zoran Zaev to discuss his plans to develop the area, while paying 300,000 EUR for the privilege.

According to the plans, the site of former SIK Jelak furniture plant, situated at the main south-eastern entrance to the city, is going to be developed with 230,000 square meters of residential and office space. This could mean up to 8,000 new residents in the city which is already struggling to provide clean water and other basic necessities to the existing population. The business plan, on the other hand, could be worth 200 million EUR in total, said VMRO-DPMNE representative Aleksandar Nikoloski.

Leaks published earlier this year showed Daka in contact with Zoran Mileski – Zoki Kiceec, a notorious fixer close to the ruling SDSM party, who was sentenced in the major Racket scandal. In the tapes between Daka and Kiceec, the Montenegrin businessman says how angry he is that despite paying 300,000 EUR to Kiceec to secure the meeting with Zaev, his businesses are still stuck. On top of the SIK Jelak development, he was planning to go into construction of renewable energy plants – a business often dependent on Government subsidies.

Kiceec is heard offering Daka, who is currently newly empowered with the election results in Montenegro, a meeting with Dragi Raskovski, who is one of Zoran Zaev’s chief lieutenants. Daka refuses the offer saying that he knows he will just face demands to pay more money to Zaev. “I don’t want to see him again, he’ll just me for more money to fund his referendum”, Daka says. This indicates that Zaev was soliciting bribes from businessmen using the 2018 name change referendum as an excuse – probably that he needed the money to fund the “yes” campaign which eventually failed miserably in trying to secure the necessary turnout.

The SDSM – DUI coalition of lies continues with its criminal activities. Are SDSM and DUI aware of the regional context of this deal, and of its geo-strategic implications? Do they know about the role Miodrag Davidovic Daka has in the region?, Nikoloski asked the ruling majority which enabled the deal.

Davidovic was a former Montenegrin intelligence officer who was active in the Serbian separatist movement in eastern Bosnia. After the war he went into oil and alcohol and at several points took over the large Niksic metal plant and was elected Mayor of Niksic. His close links with Montenegrin leader Milo Djukanovic soured over time and he became a supporter of the pro-Serbian parties and was often pointed out as financial backer of pro-Russian causes in the country, including the alleged coup attempt in 2016. He survived an assassination attempt in Belgrade in December last year.