On August 31st, the leaders of the political parties, signatories to the Pržino Agreement confirmed the date December 11 for early parliamentary elections. The day after, the ruling party began reshuffling the staff at the Ministry of Interior, employment within the ministry and a series of manoeuvres ahead of the early elections.
Some experts and opposition parties have characterized these moves by the party as confirmation that they are seizing the power within the most important institutions for pre-electoral control.
Just several days after the agreement for holding elections on December 11 was signed, the ruling party commenced its pre-election agenda:
- On September 1, a day before the Parliament voted the interim government, the minister of interior, Mitko Chavkov, resigned, and the Parliament appointed Oliver Andonov as a minister for a day. The ruling party made this tactical move in order to secure the key positions in the MОI, with trustworthy and loyal personnel, i.e. Chavkov to be appointed as director of the Bureau for Public Security.
- Vladimir Atanasovski was appointed as the new director of the Administration for Security and Counter Intelligence, who was “transferred” from the director’s chair at the Administration for Financial Intelligence.
- On August 31 and September 1, the MOI announced that 26 positions had opened in the Department of Interior in Bitola, where they employed people without public advertising for the job. Among those who were employed, was the souse of the Chief of Police (SVR) in Bitola and President of the VMRO-DPMNE Youth Union in Bitola, Bojan Dimovski. According to unofficial information, in the last ten days, 120 people were employed through the Ministry of Interior, without prior public posts or advertisements for the positions.
- In October, the MOI will publish the final list of the new 600 police officers, out of 3.972 candidates that applied after the open call, announced on July 15.
- On September 5, the Judicial Council of the Republic of Macedonia elected 25 new judges, for the Basic Court, the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court. “Immediately after the elections were announced, the usual suspects from the VMRO-DPMNE opened up their ledgers, and through their minions in the Judicial Council elected 25 new ‘Swarovski’ judges under Gruevski, nothing will save him, he will be held accountable”, was the response from the SDSM regarding the election of the new judges.
- The Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy, the National Bank as well as state companies MEPSO and ELEM announced the employment of 128 people.
- The government intends to use its majority in the Parliament and to pass the budget for 2017, said Deutsche Welle today. “Yes, it is correct, the minister Minoski confirmed that the government wants to pass the budget for 2017 prior the elections, but we disagree and we shall not allow that”, has said the additional deputy minister of finance, Kire Naumov, for Deutsche Welle.