Former Culture Minister, now independent member of Parliament Elizabeta Kanceska Milevska, did not endorse the call from her colleague Emilija Aleksandrova who demanded that opposition leader Hristijan Mickoski resigns as leader of VMRO-DPMNE. Kanceska said that she was not consulted by Aleksandrova, and that she doesn’t endorse her thinking.
Both were elected as members of Parliament on the VMRO-DPMNE ticket, but were kicked out of the party by Mickoski after they voted to rename Macedonia. Kanceska is widely believed to have done so in order to get clemency from Katica Janeva’s Special Prosecutor’s Office which was prosecuting her on allegations of corruption on projects initiated while she was Culture Minister.
The “Gang of Eight” such former VMRO-DPMNE members of Parliament frequently try to interfere in their old party, and Aleksandrova did just that today when she called on Mickoski to resign. Her reason was that Mickoski proposed that the NATO ratification protocol is ratified now, before the last NATO member state – Spain – has done so, to avoid the possibility that the ratification happens while Macedonia’s own Parliament is dismissed and can’t complete the ratification process.
I was not consulted by Emilija Aleksandrova, I was not even in Parliament today due to prior obligations. The proposal to ratify the NATO protocol should not be condemned, in fact, it brings us a step closer to NATO membership. I won’t ask the VMRO-DPMNE leader to resign, he was legitimately elected at a party congress, and that is the only way he could be removed. My own support for the Euro-Atlantic integrations is immense, visible and has brought results, and it was sincere. I’ve always put my country first, Kanceska Milevska said, before explaining how the Parliament helped bring Macedonia into NATO and how her vote to rename the country was important to achieve this goal.
Outgoing Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, and a number of his close associates have opened the prospect of postponing the elections currently planned for April, citing the delay in ratification in Spain as the reason. Zaev’s SDSM party is down in the polls, and he insisted that the elections are held as late as possible, but was eventually forced to allow early elections in April after the European Union rejected Macedonia’s request to open EU accession talks.
As for Kanceska Milevska, Aleksandrova, and the other members of Parliament expelled from VMRO-DPMNE, as they are very unlikely to get their former party to nominate them again, postponing the elections could allow them to remain in Parliament until December 2020 at the latest.