As the Parliament stops its regular work because of the start of the municipal elections campaign, the Zaev coalition was able to protect Healthcare Minister Venko Filipce, at least until the end of the year.

Filipce was forced to offer his resignation and faces a vote of no confidence in the Parliament initiated by the opposition, after the deadly hospital fire in Tetovo. But Zaev’s representatives in the Parliament and Speaker Talat Xhaferi delayed all action in the Parliament, and now have a new excuse to delay Filipce’s removal – the fact that the Parliament is supposed to stop its normal work because of the elections.

SDSM invested heavily in building Filipce as the star of the party during the coronavirus pandemic, and a long list of corruption scandals also lead to the Minister, indicating that he is an important source of revenue for the ruling party. Zaev elevated Filipce to the rank of deputy SDSM party leader and forced the party to close ranks around him even as the shocking level of incompetence and corruption contributed to the deadly fire.