SDSM party deputy leader Muhamed Zekiri, who is one of the few ethnic Albanian SDSM officials, lambasted his DUI coalition partner for the candidates the party has proposed in the presidential elections. DUI insists that a joint SDSM – DUI candidate will have to be nominated, and that DUI will have veto power of the nominee.

Several names were put forward, such as former minister Denko Malevski and LazarElenovski. Elenovski is from a mixed Macedonian – Albanian family, while Malevski refused to answer a direct question whether his mother was Albanian.

But, Zekiri mocked the proposal, seeming painting the candidates as “too Macedonian”.

A consensual candidate for DUI would be Denko Malevski, Laze Elenovski, even Vlado Popovski. Why not Vlatko Gjorcev?, Zekiri mockingly wrote on Facebook, mentioning the first declared VMRO-DPMNE candidate Gjorcev to the list.

Zekiri has a history of infighting with DUI over the ethnic Albanian votes, as he’s trying to get as many of them as possible to vote for SDSM and increase his own standing in the party. Some polls have shown SDSM surpassing DUI among the ethnic Albanians, as the leftist party loses support among ethnic Macedonians where VMRO-DPMNE is the first party of choice. Zekiri himself was mentioned as a possible candidate for the presidency, but it’s unclear whether his Facebook post should be seen as Zekiri positioning himself in that role.