The head of the Skopje police Toni Jakimovski is the most mentioned name for the successor to the replaced Lazo Velkovski in the Public Security Bureau. Although his appointment seems to be a done deal, because his colleagues at the Ministry of Interior and representatives of the international community gave him a green light, the information that the “Nezavisen vesnik” came to indicate that this would be difficult. New names are included in the game, including the Chief of the Strumica police, Tancho Projkovski.
Negotiations for a new chief of police does not go as smoothly, our interlocutors argue. Mile Zecevic, former director of the Directorate for Security and Counterintelligence, was interested in this position. As a member of the ruling SDSM, he began his political career in 2001 as head of the cabinet of the Minister of Defense Vlado Buckovski. In 2003 he was appointed Secretary General of the Government, and chief of the secret police became in 2006. But, according to unofficial information, his election was not acceptable to foreign officials, primarily because of his prominent party role, which was frowned upon for his predecessors as well. Due to disagreements, only Velkovski’s replacement was accepted on Tuesday’s session, no new director was appointed, and the temporary deputy, Besir Deari, temporarily came in his place. Officials from the Ministry of Interior say that there is no way that Deari can stay in this position because it will neither be offered to him nor he is interested in running the entire police system.
“Jakimovski is an experienced professional, who was well organized by the Sector for Internal Affairs in Skopje. He has the trust of almost the entire Ministry. In addition, the big advantage is that he is not exposed to politics, for him there is no party, but only work. His eventual placement will stop the comments coming from the opposition that the Bureau is bailing out party people. It is interesting that those critics point towards Velkovski, but forget that in all the leadership positions in the Ministry of Interior in the past decade were party people like Gordana Jankuloska, Saso Mijalkov or Mitko Cavkov,” a senior official at the Ministry of Internal Affairs says.
The appointment of the first person in the BJB as soon as possible is important in the wake of the referendum because it is possible to violate the political situation in the country due to high tensions and various influences from the outside. Former Minister Pavle Trajanov believes that if the system works, that is, if it is in good condition, a few days of empty director position will not affect the safety of the citizens and the public property.
“The problem is in the strong partisation of the MOI, which was particularly felt in the past ten years. Members of the party are recruited in the Ministry. In this way, the MoI can not be a guarantor for the protection of citizens’ rights and security, but only a protégé of the interests of the parties. Unfortunately, they pay more attention to the party than to the state,” commented Trajanov.
Saso Tasevski and Kiril Mitic were mentioned for possible successors of Velkovski. Tasevski is the head of the Security Department. His advantage was that he heroically defended Prime Minister Zoran Zaev and the other MPs in the Parliament when he attacked the Parliament on April 27th, due to which he was soon promoted. Mitic is the head of the Department for Suppression of Organized and Serious Crime at the CPC (Central Police Force) of the Bureau.
Lazo Velkovski was removed from office because of a scandal with the official police jeep vehicle. Due to his great experience in the Ministry of Interior, he was removed from the post, but he remains a Mol employee.