Even as the Zaev Government is being replaced by an interim Government meant to organize the early general elections, it keeps churning out job vacancies. There are currently 247 open ads offering jobs in the public administration, in various central and municipal institutions, most of them under the control of the ruling SDSM party.

For much of November the website of the Administration Agency, which is supposed to manage the hiring process, was off-line. This prompted concerns that SDSM is trying to conduct public sector hiring in an non-transparent process, directing party activists to the available jobs to ensure their loyalty ahead of the elections.

Jobs are open in libraries and schools, welfare centers, public healthcare institutions, regulatory bodies and dozens of municipalities. The MIOA Ministry for Public Administration and Information Technology itself has 35 openings, even though its head Damjan Mancevski insists that the public administration is overflowing, and is pushing a scheme to send thousands of public sector employees to intern in the private sector.

By far the worst abuses were reported in the way SDSM handled the Interior Ministry, which, besides the judiciary, was the cornerstone of the socialist party’s hold on power. Hundred appointments were made throughout the police ranks overnight, on December 30th, days before Interior Minister Oliver Spasovski was expected to resign and be replaced by VMRO-DPMNE nominee Nake Culev. This raised concerns that SDSM will try to use its party loyalists in the police to influence the outcome of the elections planned for April 12th.