Prime Minister Zoran Zaev condemned “any provocative statements” that were made during the wedding of Sasa Bogdanovic, the Mayor of Skopje’s Centar municipality, who is a candidate of Zaev’s SDSM party.

Bogdanovic is an ethnic Serb and he had a wedding in Kosovo, in the monastery of Gracanica, which is part of Serb enclave. During the wedding, Bogdanovic and his party made comments that they are forced to this step because Macedonia does not allow full religious rights to Serbs – part of a dispute born by the fact that Serbia prevents the international recognition of the Macedonian Orthodox Church.

Albanian media have taken offense by some of the songs sang during the wedding, which declare Kosovo – Serbian land and similar statements made by guests at the wedding. Zaev, who is trying to balance what was once a pro-Serbian, pro-Yugoslav party, which is now more and more dependent on ethnic Albanian voters, was mainly referring to the latter issue.

I read the statements from Sasa Bogdanovic. He clearly says that he was not banned from having a wedding here but he chose to marry in Kosovo due to the historic context. He says that he does not endorse the statements from individuals who attended his wedding. If there is a provocative message, I condemn it. We are the avant-garde of building a “one society for all” and we support all our neighbors, Zaev said.