Regarding the negotiations with the opposition on the fate of the Special Prosecutor’s Office, Zoran Zaev said that the one outstanding issue is the prosecutor herself – Katica Janeva.

Zaev has insisted that the openly partisan prosecutor who has helped his rise to power remains in the office, while for the opposition VMRO-DPMNE party she’s a non-starter.

SPO’s mandate expires on September 15th. We won’t wait till it’s five to midnight. The only issue we are stuck with is the name of Katica Janeva. We need to resolve the issue, not for the sake of the European Union but for our sake. We won’t compromise with justice. The judiciary of North Macedonia is not fully operational because of this issue, it isn’t working with full capacity and its future is uncertain, Zaev said during his Klan TV interview.

Janeva assumed the newly established office in 2015, and immediately began issuing criminal charges almost exclusively against VMRO-DPMNE officials and supporters, based on inadmissible illegally recorded phone conversations. Some of her cases are now being thrown out by the courts, others face protracted trials due to the quality of the evidence, but in the meantime she paved the way for Zaev to take over the Government and impose the name change.

Some European countries who have objections about Macedonia’s EU accession even after the name change want to see the SPO made permanent as a condition of opening accession talks.