Prime Minister Dimitar Kovacevski has refused to rebuke Speaker Talat Xhaferi, after a leaked audio tape revealed his torrent of abuse at Parliament staffers. Even for a country generally not shy about using profanities, Xhaferi’s shouting off the charts, not to mention that it occurred in the Parliament.

But Kovacevski tried to make excuses for Xhaferi, insisting that he can’t be sure it was him given that the tape has no video – an ironic comment for the leader of a party which grabbed power using illegal wiretaps of its political opponents. Xhaferi, a former terrorist commander, is from the DUI party which is crucial to the survival of the Government, which explains Kovacevski’s silence.

Kovacevski is prepared to line up his entire Government behind Xhaferi and protect his primitivism, only to remain in power. Tens of people are left with trauma only so that Kovacevski will buy a few days more in office, the opposition VMRO-DPMNE party said in a statement.