During a TV interview yesterday SDSM leader Zoran Zaev demanded a resignation from Interior Minister Nake Culev, the only remaining top level government member appointed from the opposition VMRO-DPMNE party under the power-sharing pre-election agreement. Zaev accused Culev because the police did not break up the large procession on St. George’s day in Struga, which Zaev claimed was a risk for spreading of the coronavirus.
Traditionally, SDSM officials like Zaev accuse Culev of every failure of the police, while praise other, SDSM appointed police officials, when the Ministry conducts a drug seizure or some other success.
But this inconsistency aside, Zaev’s request drew additional objections. It comes at a time when Zaev is pushing for he earliest possible date for elections, in June or early July, because his party considers it will help them avoid a serious electoral defeat. Normally more then a million people vote in elections in Macedonia, and holding a vote before the epidemic has been put under control would risk spreading the virus on orders of magnitude greater than the gathering of about a thousand people in Struga.
The elderly, who are most at risk from the virus, are also the category of citizens who vote in highest percentages, and the elections are conducted often in cramped conditions, in schools where hundreds of voters pass by each other, interact with the same members of the electoral commission and share the same polling booths.