SDSM party leader Zoran Zaev repeated his position that he wants to see the DUI party end up in the opposition. “Seventeen years in Government are too long”, Zaev said, which prompted a response from DUI party leader Ali Ahmeti.

Neither Zaev nor anyone else will have the satisfaction to see DUI going into opposition. The smile on his face will be gone on July 15. It’s not a matter of sending DUI into opposition, we can’t have the Albanians sent into opposition. They still see Albanians as mere lumberjacks and waste collectors and don’t see us in the top positions in Government, Ahmeti said.

The exchange comes at a day when a new leak of Zaev appeared, showing him in a discussion with a person who uses ugly slurs for Albanians, to which Zaev says that “they are worthless”. Zaev later claimed that he meant to say that DUI is worthless in its ability to deliver votes. Ahmeti said that there is no worse insult for Albanians than when Zaev says that they fight for money, as mercenaries, when told by the person next to him that the Albanians have shown they have fighting men.

DUI is campaigning on the demand to make an ethnic Albanian the next Prime Minister as part of the post-election coalition negotiations. Both VMRO-DPMNE and SDSM, the likely winners of the elections, have rejected the proposal as they nominate their respective party leaders for the position.

We will not accept blackmail. They sent us a message which is clearly blackmail, Zaev said during a TV interview this evening. He even spoke in Albanian, turning the DUI slogan “why not an Albanian Prime Minister” into “why not DUI in opposition?”

Zaev openly proposed a pact to VMRO leader Hristijan Mickoski that the two parties support a minority Government by one of them to keep Ahmeti out of Government, a proposal which Mickoski refused saying that there are already candidates on Zaev’s list who are willing to cross over and support VMRO.

Ahmeti today called Zaev’s proposal a “dangerous stoking of fire”. Other Albanian leaders have also responded angrilly to the possible coalition between the two main majority Macedonian parties. Ziadin Sela from the Alliance of Albanians said that a “Macedonian Government” will lead to the creation of a separate “Albanian Government”, while Menduh Thaci from DPA said it will lead to war.

Zaev formed a pre-election coalition with BESA – a first pre-election coalition between a Macedonian and an Albanian party – in an attempt to bolster the share of Albanian votes he gets, but BESA leader Bilal Kasami recently said that the seats he gets as a result of the shared campaign belong to BESA and that his MPs will form a separate group in Parliament, hinting even at leaving the coalition with SDSM after the elections. And Muhamed Zekiri, the leader of the SDSM’s own Albanian wing, said that the party is no longer a Macedonian party, but a party of citizens of various ethnic backgrounds.