Zaev denied reports that police officials ordered surveillance and attacks on opposition activists in Prilep and other cities in the run up and on the day of the local elections. The allegations were raised by VMRO-DPMNE, which showed screenshots from a massive Viber group in which local and central police officials were coordinating their activities.

The time of VMRO control of the police is over. Nobody is even thinking about using the police in that way. We had exceptionally free, fair and democratic elections, Zaev insisted.

The messages showed that Prilep police was following the VMRO mayoral candidate Borce Jovceski, and that police officials were planning attacks on opposition activists, as well as on the Infomax news crew that reported extensively on SDSM’s bribery and intimidation of voters.

VMRO-DPMNE today warned that similar “para-police” groups are also active in other cities contested in the second round of the elections, such as Ohrid and Radovis. The party called on police officials who are involved in illegal activities against the opposition to stop immediately, or face consequences after the Zaev regime goes down.