Has the new leader of the main opposition party, Hristijan Mickoski, decided to continue the hard “eliminate, then rule” tactics, despite his loud indications that the new party statute will contribute to greater democratization? In the moments of indecision over the positions of the party related to the referendum, which will be held in less than 40 days, irritating for the public, but also for themembership, after the session of the Executive Committee held on Thursday from the White Palace, leaked information that the there has been a major cleanup within the party, where more than 15 sub-secretaries have been dismissed.
The party statement after the session does not provide any information on the shifts in this delicate political moment, except that seven new presidents of municipal committees have been appointed, as well as two new members of the central committee, and that ex-finance minister Trajko Slavevski will lead Commission for the systematization of ideas and proposals for the party programme. At the EC meeting, the vice-president of the party Vlado Misajlovski was appointed coordinator of all the mayors of VMRO-DPMNE, and the member of the Executive Committee, Vladimir Neloski, as coordinator of all VMRO-DPMNE councilor groups in the municipalities.
VMRO-DPMNE confirmed yesterday that some of the sub-secretaries were dismissed, but that this does not mean that the party lost has confidence in them and that their capacities will be used in other spheres and fields.
“Even when they were granted the party’s confidence, it was jointly concluded that a test period should follow for assessing their performance, but also whether they will find themselves in that particular role. Now, after this trial period has passed, the party began restructuring and strengthening certain segments, where it was unanimously concluded that it was necessary,” VMRO-DPMNE said.
Party sources confirm that the dismissed sub-secretaries were appointed recently, just over three months ago, but they say it is absurd to talk about some qualitative test of the hired people, because in that period, as they point out, they did not receive specific tasks at all that should have been carried out on the field. There were no grounds, as our interlocutors point out, for assessing their work.
Some of our interlocutors have already requested a list of dismissed sub-secretaries and an explanation as to why they were replaced during this particular period. They were reportedly promised that they will receive it next week.
This toxic cleanup, as they call it, is allegedly a direct consequence of the party’s disagreement over the upcoming plebiscitary plea and alleged compromise with those who are in favour of the EU and NATO and who support the referendum. Among the dismissed there are individuals from the so-called reform wing, which Mickoski immediately incorporated into the leadership structures as “fresh blood and reconciliation element” after taking over the party, but according to certain information, he no longer had tolerance for their “quick tongues” and isolated public appearances.
At moments of indecision over the positions of the party related to the referendum that will be held in just 40 days, which is irritating for the public, but also for the membership, the mood in the party base has changed in relation to the one few months ago.
“At the beginning, the hard core position for the boycott of the referendum dominated within the municipal committees, but as time passes, this position has been mitigated, and now it is evident that the mood goes in support of the referendum vote,” our interlocutors say.
The replacement of the sub-secretaries is interpreted as a perfidious attempt to clear the turf, and for the newly formed team to discreetly attempt to make the membership boycott the referendum anyway, and in case the leadership officially urges the citizens, in their conviction, to decide how they will view the referendum.
This development of events, according to some political observers, is a solid message from the new leadership for not laying down the established lines of the previous management structure, which, according to them, continues to be the main driver. The new leader Mickoski took over the party leadership and set off from the very start with “wounded knees” in, as he himself said, the implementation of the party’s democratization. Since then, he is widely considered as being “former” in his party.
“It is obvious that the imposed leadership is in full possession of the previous party structure. This negatively reflects on the mood of the membership, which disables the necessary consolidation of the party,” says professor and member of the Democratic Faction of VMRO-DPMNE, Jove Kekenovski.
He believes that it has never been so monotonous in the White Palace. “What is happening now is another proof of the fake unity and the alleged harmony in the party during the rule of Nikola Gruevski. What was binding them was not the ideology, but personal interests and the fear of the leadership of the party,” Kekenovski said.
The disharmony and the clashes that are happening now in the highest bodies of the party, Kekenovski expects to be replicated in the next period among the deputies as well, who, unfortunately, are still kept with party bills of exchange.
“Until there is actual democratization of the party, it can not be considered as a credible political entity in the opposition, let alone return to power,” Kekenovski said.