On the evening of December 10, leader of Macedonia’s former ruling party VMRO-DPMNE and former Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski submitted his resignation as head of party to VMRO-DPMNE’s Central Committee.
During the meeting of the party’s Central Committee, 100 members voted to hold an urgent Congress, to elect a new party president. One Committee member voted against, while ten abstained.
VMRO-DPMNE General Secretary Hristijan Mickoski announced that the Congress will be held on December 22 and 23 in Valandovo.
Today, Gruevski took to Facebook to announce that he did not intend to interfere with delegates’ decisions at the party’s upcoming 16th urgent congress to elect a new party president and that he would refrain from suggesting any candidates to succeed him. In the statement, published on his official Facebook page, Gruevski said that all the names mentioned in public so far as possible presidential candidates are his longtime colleagues and that he plans to favor at least one individual.
“Bearing in mind that they were and still are my close associates, I do not plan to ‘stand behind’ one, but I will have a favorite and, at the expense of other candidates, may use my influence as the longtime President of VMRO-DPMNE. The election of the President of VMRO-DPMNE should be democratic and stem from the deep belief in that person by those who will vote and those who delegate this privilege – the members of VMRO-DPMNE.”
Gruevski added that each of the potential candidates mentioned in media so far have enough experience, knowledge, vision and capacity, and, if elected, “with certainty and will convincingly defeat SDSM and Zoran Zaev in the next elections, if there is an equal game for political fight, if they remain consistent with their principles and declared promises and if they maintain their own independence.”
Feature image source credit: European People’s Party, Nikola Gruevski [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons