DUI, the largest ethnic Albanian coalition partner of SDSM, held an urgent meeting overnight to discuss the pressure the party is under by the Special Prosecutors Office (SPO). DUI officials are believed to be among those charged in a case the SPO initiated against former Culture Minister Elizabeta Kanceska Milevska, over the reconstruction work at the Albanian Theater in Skopje.

Kanceska Milevska is one of the eight former VMRO-DPMNE members of Parliament who supported the opening of the process to rename the country, and she is believed to be negotiating with the Government to have the charges against her removed in exchange for her support in the final vote. But DUI, which has been a coalition partner almost constantly since 2002, jealously protects its members from any corruption charges and its leader Ali Ahmeti recently cryptically warned that the process of constitutional changes is under threat.

Several media outlets reported that Ahmeti is facing pressure from his subordinates who are being investigated by the SPO that they will point their fingers at him as the source of the corrupt deals if they don’t receive reprieve. Significant police forces were seen near the Mala Recica DUI party headquarters, just outside Tetovo. Culture Minister Asaf Ademi, who comes from a rival ethnic Albanian party, confirmed that his employees are busily cooperating with the investigation.

Ahmeti, who was commander of the NLA guerrilla group and began the 2001 conflict in Macedonia, is also charged in one of the SPO cases, over the way the 2011 census was stopped after the Commission refused to list ethnic Albanians who live outside of the country as residents. He is also believed to be the target of investigation in the 2006 Deutsche Telekom scandal. A DUI appointed Deputy Prime Minister Bujar Osmani is also under SPO investigation as are other, lesser officials.