In his interview on the Macedonian Television yesterday, Zoran Zaev defended the nepotistic practice of his SDSM party and his Government, to hire close relatives of top party and Government officials to high positions in the public sector.

They should also be allowed to compete and be hired, but the process must be transparent, Zaev said.

Dozens of SDSM and DUI members of Parliament, Government ministers, former SDSM and DUI officials and even some of the former oppositions members of Parliament who Zaev drew to his side, got their close relatives hired in well paid positions in the public sector. A few of the most prominent ones, such as SDSM spokesman Kostadin Kostadinov and the now deposed Secretary General Aleksandar Kiracovski, were pressured to order their relatives to withdraw, but this was drowned out by newly discovered cases of nepotism.

Before Zaev, his Minister in charge of the public administration Damjan Mancevski also defended the practice.