Zoran Zaev attempts to make historic analogies often derail, and this week he already made a comment that easily ranks among his “greatest hits”, when discussing the origin of the Macedonians and Bulgarians he traced it either to Adam and Eve or to the humanoid apes.

But another historic fable Zaev offered this week is worth examining. When discussing the online congress of his SDSM party where his long serving deputy leader Radmila Sekerinska was replaced with the tax authority chief Sanja Lukarevska, Zaev tried to defend Lukarevska’s relative youth and inexperience in the party, given the pricey heels she is supposed to fill. In her defense, Zaev said that former President Kiro Gligorov, who largely founded the SDSM party, started his career in the former Communist Party when he was under 30. In the process, Zaev claimed that Gligorov was 27 when he was made a delegate at the AVNOJ assembly of Yugoslav communists.

The thing is that it didn’t happen. Three other officials were invited to meet with Yugoslav Marshall Tito in 1944 on the island of Vis – Metodija Andonov – Cento, Emanuel Mane Cuckov and Kiril Petrusevski – and Gligorov was not among them. A Macedonian delegation famously did not attend the original AVNOJ assembly – ostensibly because of difficult weather conditions that prevented the trip but the real reason could have been political differences and resistance to acknowledging the Macedonian partisan movement as equal to those in other parts of Yugoslavia.