The difficult tasks ahead of Zoran Zaev

In politics, Zaev showed a rare ability to listen to the other side, to step into the opponent’s shoes. He even forgave those who wanted to kill him on April 27, 2017. It is now expected of him to understand those who do not accept his resignation. Many Macedonian and European politicians and leaders publicly ask him to continue with his work. He should listen to them. At the end of the day, they do not seek him to serve him a light and delicious meal, but difficult tasks.


Nervous days on the political scene. Mickoski didn’t dare to confront the public, so he sent his vice president to “fight” with the media. Indeed, with a good excuse, the vice president of the rightist DPMNE, Nikoloski, is also an MP, and the initiative for voting no confidence in the government is submitted in parliament. Although the absence of the boss from that significant political act can’t be interpreted any other way than nervousness and insecurity in the outcome.


This daily political prognosis has a short deadline – only until Thursday, November 11, when the initiative of DPMNE for confidence in Zaev’s government is to be voted. But it wouldn’t be a prognosis if it is written after it’s clarified, right? And it’s not just about the prognosis, since it’s not difficult to predict the outcome of the political rush of Mickoski and his political lovers towards the positions of the central government. It is consolation that they didn’t try to gain power by a terrorist attack.

These days will be remembered by their fierce dynamics and political upheavals typical for ancient Rome (Balkan version). The political repertoire has been enriched with more examples of inconsistencies, unscrupulousness and thirst for power at any cost, stronger than moral. The hypocrisy and political infidelity will remain noted in the chronicles, regardless of the outcome of the voting that was obvious even in the hours before the announcement of DPMNE’s initiative in parliament. But there is no turning back now, and neither should there be one.

A good lesson for everyone

And it could have been better. Both Mickoski and the Sela-Gashi pair had the opportunity to be part of the European marathon of Macedonia. They could have been part of the government, to lead the country together, but they chose to fight for power alone, hand in hand with an extremely suspicious character like Apasiev. Drunken by the success of the local elections (rather the failure of SDSM, according to the numbers) they engaged in an adventure that surpasses their capacities.

Perhaps this is a good lesson for everyone. Many have showed their true face these days. Mickoski and Apasiev have been joined by joined by Kasami, who owes Zaev everything he has left of his political career. Others from the SDSM coalition also flirted, but they calculated the risk and remained in the progressive flock.

After another political and moral defeat, they probably won’t take responsibility, but will continue to find fantastic excuses.

But… There is still a chance for everyone. Instead of continuing to steal the time so needed for solving problems, it is high time for politicians to earn the money they receive from the Macedonian citizens. This means – to unlock the processes and to unblock parliament and the institutions. To show leadership and a sense for the national interests. To start with a real, and even fierce criticism of all the mistakes of the government. That’s the task of the opposition.


The job is not done, the resignation is not accepted

Zaev is a serious man and politician. He showed integrity, responsibility and (too) much emotions. He doesn’t want to revoke what he has said. But if in politics he showed rare ability to listen to the other side, to get into the shoes of the opponent, and even to forgive those who wanted to kill him on April 27, 2017, he surely can understand also those who don’t accept his resignation. Many Macedonian and European politicians and leaders are publically calling on him to continue his work. He should listen to them. After all, they are not looking for him to serve him a light and tasty meal, but for difficult tasks.

Zaev has an obligation to listen to the Macedonian and European public and progressive political elite home and abroad. They ask from him to once again surpass himself. He has an obligation towards them, and above all, towards the Macedonian citizens. The local elections are a concern for the local structures of government, now in the most part in the hands of DPMNE. A knife in his back that part of the party he leads is always stabbing, it’s not something unusual. There are worst parties.

There is still much unfinished work. Zaev is expected to also take out the “broom” for which he talked about in 2019, and which is getting dusty in his cabinet (and in the party). He needs to take it in his hands and to sweep with it to the end of his mandate. Two and a half years are not little time. You can sweep much garbage in the meanwhile, to the general and long-term satisfaction of the majority of the people, regardless of the political (dis)orientation. Then, with a little cleaned up yard, to step even more decisively in anticipation of the European future of Macedonia. He is a good politician. Successful.

If it’s difficult, let’s turn off the light

The questions about the “special war” (they now call it hybrid) in which our country has been drawn into, remain flashing with a bright red light. And that’s on Zaev’s table. Like the pressure on the people who started at the same moment when the dpmne mayors sat in their seat in the local government.

And the European path. The pandemic. The energy crisis. The financial crisis. The reforms. Justice. Security. The green agenda. The strategy “One society for all”.

If it’s very difficult, let’s turn off the light and head off to the landfill of history.


  1. An excerpt from the internal communication of my colleagues (in original, in two beautiful Macedonian dialects):

“One question, did Mickoski say what his position is about the vaccination? I can’t find it anywhere” – asks one.

“He just said that he got vaccinated so that he could go to taverns” – replied the other in an Ohrid dialect.

“And such a person wants to lead a country!” – exclaimed ironically the first one from Kumanovo.

(Not everything has to be in Skopje dialect, right?)


Translation: N. Cvetkovska

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