Former state security chief Saso Mijalkov was given 60 days of detention yesterday, after his escape to Serbia over the weekend and the subsequent return to Macedonia.

But the very fact that he was allowed to escape, and his extensive ties with the Zaev regime and continued usefulness, left many wondering whether a new attempt to go easy on him is in the works. The court will automatically re-examine the detention order in 60 days, and additional challenges to it are possible even before that.

After tremendous public pressure and threats that his Government will fall over this, Zaev made a deal with Mijalkov to ensure his return. But not for long. Is the new deal that Mijalkov will walk free in two months? Is Zaev just buying transient peace for a period of two months?, VMRO-DPMNE said in a press release.

Zaev relied on Mijalkov to get to 81 votes in Parliament that he needed to impose the name change on the country. Mijalkov is also helping Zaev by trying to create factions in VMRO-DPMNE and weaken the opposition at a time when Zaev himself holds a very narrow majority in Parliament which seemed on the verge of collapse over this week’s events.