Prime Minister Zoran Zaev again denied that he plans to run for President in the coming elections in April, even after a TV station close to him pushed a poll showing him in the lead ahead of other potential SDSM party candidates.

– I will not run and I end this debate, said Zaev during a TV appearance. This is the second time the Prime Minister, who is famously flexible with the truth, said that he will not run for President.

According to widely spread rumors, Zaev was considering running for President to protect himself from future investigations under the veto and pardon power he would enjoy as President. The MIA state news agency, also close to his Government, reported that Zaev is considering calling for early general elections at the same time with the presidential elections, which would allow him to take advantage of the situation when the main opposition party VMRO-DPMNE is still hard pressed by the political persecution it is exposed to by the Government. According to MIA, some of Zaev’s coalition partners were unsure over this or flat out against general elections.