TV21 reports that the Skopje branch of the ruling SDSM party wants to have at least one of the chief two economic Government members – Deputy Prime Minister Koco Angusev or Finance Minister Dragan Tevdovski, to resign.

Calls to replace the economic ministers have also come from the Albanian DUI party. The awaited purge of members of Zaev’s Government, which was announced after the dismal results of the first round of presidential elections, caused divisions in SDSM between Zaev’s rural wing of the party and the old guard Skopje elitists. Angusev particularly is seen as Zaev’s man and removing him would weaken his hold on the Government.

Meanwhile, according to TV21, Zaev is considering replacing Tevdovski with the tax authority head Sanja Lukarevska, in a bid to increase the number of women in his cabinet.

It is still unclear whether Zaev will go ahead with the purge, or if he will rather give back his mandate and go for early elections. The second option was opened as it becomes clear that there will be no EU accession talks in June – which was a key promise Zaev made as he was imposing the name change on the country.