After being called out by the public, by the European Union and an investigation was launched by the Anti-Corruption Commission, Prime Minister Zoran Zaev today promised that some of the dozens of relatives of high ranking Government officials who were recently hired in the public service will resign from their positions.

Public office holders should set a good example for the citizens and, even though we are talking about a small number of cases, it was a bad example. If we order them something now we will only confirm the impression that everything was done outside of the norms of law and ethics. I hope they will make a personal decision as responsible individuals. An analysis is being performed on the way in which they competed for the jobs and the procedure and I will present all information publicly, Zaev said.

The straw that broke the camel’s back was SDSM member of Parliament Mira Stojcevska, who, after collecting 12.000 EUR in travel expenses in a year, had her husband, son and brother hired in public institutions. The list of Government officials who had their children, siblings or spouses hired in the public administration included Speaker Talat Xhaferi, former Prime Minister Vlado Buckovski, members of Parliament Aleksandar Kiracovski, Goran Misovski, Kostadin Kostadinov and Mileva Georgieva, Ministers Kresnik Bekteshi and Asaf Ademi, Mayors Toni Delkov, Teuta Xhaferi, Natasa Petrovska, Ilija Jovanovski, Nevzat Bejta, SDSM party supporters like Ljubomir Frckoski and Miroslav Grcev and many others. The list also includes some of the members of Parliament who left VMRO-DPMNE, joined with Zaev and voted to rename Macedonia, such as Emilija Aleksandrova and Zekir Ramcilovic.

The Anti-Corruption Commission, which also faced allegations of nepotism, began a procedure to investigate 18 of these cases. Even EU spokesperson Maja Kocijancic rebuked the Zaev Government over this development. As opposition leader, Zaev famously promised his supporters, on camera, that once he has the power, all public sector positions – from the cleaning lady to the top manager – will be staffed with SDSM supporters.