Prime Minister Zoran Zaev urged President Pendarovski not to offer amnesties to the defendants from the April 27th trial, but said that he is open to the idea of having a retrial. Zaev abused the extensive process about the storming of the Parliament in 2017 to blackmail and pressure VMRO-DPMNE members of Parliament to vote in favor of the name change. The members of Parliament received amnesties, but mere protesters were sentenced to lengthy prison terms as “terrorists”, as were Interior Ministry officials – at least one of whom was targeted because he had previously investigated Zaev’s corruption.

Pendarovski and VMRO-DPMNE leader Hristijan Mickoski are set to meet tomorrow and discuss the opposition’s demand for a retrial, in which the defendants will face realistic and not politically motivated charges of terrorism – a position Pendarovski publicly agreed with.

I’m in contact with the President, he speaks openly, and he has told me that he has a position on this, as in other cases. Every person has the right to open a procedure for a retrial if there is new evidence, new arguments. It is up to the Judicial Council. If there are unprincipled things happening outside of the values a vast majority of our people lives with and believes in that means that the penal system loses its purpose. So, no amnesties, no pardons. The defendants sentenced for the April 27th events have the right to a new trial as do all other citizens if there are new elements, Zaev said today, as he faces having his biggest abuse of the judicial system relitigated in the public.

Zaev added that he sees no harm in Mickoski meeting with Pendarovski, noting that he is also meeting with the Albanian opposition parties.