The request from the SDSM led Government to extend the state of emergency for a month, and President Pendarovski’s decision to grant it for two weeks, are proof that the SDSM party is sending mixed messages, said the VMRO-DPMNE party. On one hand, SDSM is calling for early elections in June or July, and on the other, they say the situation is so dire we need to prolong the state of emergency by a whole month, the opposition party said.

The state of emergency is extended on request from Healthcare Minister Venko Filipce and his Committee on infectious diseases. It shows that even though SDSM is aware there are no conditions to go to the polls, they still want to hold a vote, even if it costs voters their lives This shows the confusion in their ranks, but also reveals that we can’t have a fair portrayal of the participants in the pre-elections period. That is why we need to set a date for the elections once the dangers to public health have been removed, VMRO said.

SDSM leader Zoran Zaev is pushing strongly for an election date in June or early July, while other major parties demand that healthcare experts give their recommendations first, as well as that the usual robust international monitoring mission is put in place – which is difficult to do with the travel restrictions linked to the coronavirus. Pendarovski today announced he will extent the state of emergency for two weeks, after the Government called for a whole month.