In an interview with the Albanian language Koha newspaper, VMRO-DPMNE leader Hristijan Mickoski says that both ethnic Albanians and Macedonians were lied to and fooled by Zoran Zaev and his SDSM party, but that both communities are quickly realizing that Zaev’s promises are not going to be fulfilled.

Macedonians and Albanians share the same fate. We both need more economics than politics. I realize that Albanians, like many Macedonians, had high hopes of Zoran Zaev. I will not say they were wrong to vote for him, it was their right and a result of the unfulfilled promises from other political parties. But, we are in the second year of his mandate and we see that Zaev lied to both Albanians and Macedonians. Albanians are not better off now, villages in Polog and Kumanovo still have no sewage systems, Albanians like Macedonians are still not getting the promised 500 EUR in salaries, there is no new highway between Gostivar and Kicevo. I know that the young people from Debar, Tetovo, Kicevo and Kumanovo are moving out just like the young people from Strumica, Radovis and Berovo. It is a sad prospect for the future and we have to change it, we have to put an end to this type of politics and begin tackling the real problems, Mickoski said in his interview with Koha.

Mickoski adds that VMRO-DPMNE can’t support it because it is bad for the country and was rejected by the citizens at the referendum.

The real test here was the referendum. Once it was not approved by the citizens, the Government should’ve given up on it, but instead it began to violate the will of the people in the most brutal way possible, with overt pressure and threats and staged criminal cases used to bring members of Parliament to heel. This was all done openly, buying votes like in a marketplace. The shame of all this will remain. The deal is bad for the country and everybody, including the Albanians, must realize this. They need to see our point of view and our position, that it violates one of the most sacred elements of a nation – its identity. We have no other country, and yet Macedonians overwhelmingly have the feeling that they are losing out here. I’m sure that Albanians would feel bad if somebody was trying to alter their identity, the name of their country, and would try to sellout their honor and dignity. This is what is happening to the Macedonians, Mickoski said.

Asked about the prospect of nominating a candidate acceptable to ethnic Albanians at the coming presidential elections, the VMRO-DPMNE said that he is open to cooperating with all political parties, groups, chambers of commerce and indviduals in putting an end to “this non-democratic and incompetent Government”.

Meanwhile, a number of Albanian language media outlets carried the remarks of leading VMRO-DPMNE member of Parliament Vladimir Gjorcev, who also accused Zaev of violating the trust not only of ethnic Macedonians but of ethnic Albanians as well.

Mr. Zaev, you lied to the Albanians just like you like to the Macedonians and everybody else in the Republic of Macedonia. The Albanians are not happy, they are disappointed by you and were lied to. Mr. Zaev, both Macedonians and Albanians are moving out of the country like never before. Look at the schools in Tetovo and Gostivar, classes have dropped from 35 to 12-13 children. You did nothing for the Albanians and you do nothing for the Macedonians, Gjorcev said in the Parliament.