By appointing Erold Musliu as the new director of the Intelligence Agency, President Stevo Pendarovski sparked disagreements between him and DUI, who stood behind his candidacy. This staff decision for the head of the security intelligence service under the authority of the President was announced only two days after the leader of DUI, Ali Ahmeti, visited Pendarovski at the Vodno Villa.
DUI, a party that did not recognize Gjorge Ivanov as a legitimate president for an entire decade, had all the party infrastructure engaged (at least that is what the highest party officials claimed) in order for Pendarovski to be the fifth president of the country – promoting him as a consensual candidate along with DUI’s partner in the SDSM government and dozens of other parties.
The Democratic Union for Integration has asked President Stevo Pendarovski to reconsider his decision on appointing Erold Musliu as new director of the Intelligence Agency.
“The decision made by President Pendarovski over the appointment of Intelligence Agency director rattled us and cast a shadow over the security reform laws adopted by Parliament yesterday. We think the decision is based on insufficient reasons and it’s not ill-intentioned. But, DUI’s position is that until 2015 Kumanovo events are fully clarified, no one that has been part of the security services at the time should be put in charge of such sensitive institutions. Therefore, we expect the President to get more information and reflect on his decision,” Deputy PM Osmani said in the capacity of DUI’s spokesperson after addressing an international seminar on Thursday.
One of President Pendarovski’s first decisions in office was appointing Erold Musliu as new director of the Intelligence Agency. Musliu had previously worked in the Security and Counter-Intelligence Directorate, as well as the Intelligence Agency.
It is unclear whether this rather soft rhetoric will change in the coming period, given that the head of the state has heard tones that do not suggest any additional staff stunts by the president in order to satisfy DUI’s appetites. Pendarovski firmly stood behind Musliu, who according to him is a top professional.
Experts in this political situation during the pre-election campaign, especially after the first round of elections that failed to bring the expected results for the ruling candidate, said DUI’s support for Pendarovski is not, and cannot be sincere. According to them, it was exclusively motivated by DUI’s wishes for staff. In this battle for the throne of the Intelligence Agency, supposedly DUI’s first draft pick was Arif Asani, an acting deputy director of the UBK. In political circles, he was speculating that Musliu is close to SDSM vice president Muhamed Zekiri.
Pendarovski: Musliu was the best solution
President Stevo Pendarovski has decided to appoint Erold Musliu as head of the Intelligence Agency after analyses have shown he is a top professional. His appointment has been met with positive reactions by partners, his office commented on DUI’s remarks involving his appointment.
“Right after coming into office, President Stevo Pendarovski considered thoroughly several proposals offering possible solutions as to who could be appointed director of the Intelligence Agency. After several comparative analyses of the professional capacities of all candidates, the name of Erold Musliu stood out as a solution who might perform the duty of this highly responsible post,” says Pendarovski’s office.
He is a top professional who has been building his career in the country and who has had exemplary cooperation with the services of all our allies, according to the office. “All services from NATO member countries were informed about Musliu’s appointment as head of the Intelligence Agency. His appointment was met with positive reactions from the services of our allied countries.”
Zaev: I have no intention to interfere in the president’s responsibility
Prime Minister Zoran Zaev said the appointment of Erold Musliu as new director of the Intelligence Agency was the responsibility of the President.
“The President sometimes consults with us on certain issues. It’s his responsibility, and certainly, his right. I believe consultation will continue, on this and other issues. The President will give an answer. I have no intention to interfere in this area, you know, I’m careful,” Zaev noted. “It’s his responsibility, but I do believe that transparency and the right to comment on certain issues by all political parties is welcomed.”
PM Zaev said another meeting with DUI leader Ali Ahmeti over changes in the executive would probably take place next week, as they were both waiting for feedback, and meetings with coalition partners would continue until decisions were made.