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May 18, 2022

What after the SDSM congress?

Analysts expect the tumultuous interparty period in the largest opposition party, which came to light after Crvenkovski’s statement, to calm down after the congress on Sunday. Then, they say, all options are open

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The only certain thing just before the SDSM congress to be held on Sunday is that it will not be quiet and boring. Longtime party chairman Crvenkovski prompted disagreement in public. After he said that neither he nor Zaev is a solution for SDSM, pointing at Stevo Pendarovski’s election result, it seems that the avalanche of reactions does not stop. But after Sunday analysts forecast an uncertain period in which the passions should slowly subside.

Meanwhile most opposing sides in the main opposition party reacted.

For many things they disagree, but identically, in their speeches they all use the words crisis and division. Longtime member and former vice president of the party Jani Makraduli said that “SDSM is faced with unprecedented division and an even deeper crisis”, Zaev that “at this point SDSM does not need any additional divisions” and Crvenkovski that “production of internal divisions in the party, unfortunately, does not guarantee successful leadership”.

Reconciliation after the congress

Professor Jove Kekenovski thinks that all these developments in SDSM now resemble disagreements in VMRO-DPMNE in 2004. The difference, according to him, is that Gruevski was more energetic and after the famous events in Skopje Hotel Panorama he solved the situation faster than Zaev now. Kekenovski is convinced that on Sunday the incumbent leader of the party will get the support of the delegates and will remain the head of the party.

– I think that with the party personnel shifts that Zaev made by his choice he controls the party and will win the congress. After Sunday, discontents will calm down and he will lead the party, the question is how well – says Kekenovski.

Analyst Petar Arsovski agrees that the situation is similar as in VMRO-DPMNE after Gruevski came, but unlike Kekenovski, he does not want to prejudge what will happen on Sunday.


Petar Arsovski

– Now the quarrel among party members is awkward, but I think it will not cause permanent damage to the party if the party comes out united after the congress – says Arsovski.

Is a new party possible?

After the congress all options are possible, interlocutors say.

-I think Crvenkovski should withdraw from that attitude as on Sunday Zaev will again get the support of the congress and he will definitely complete the long career of a party chief. There is a possibility Crvenkovski to try to form another party that I think will go wrong, like the party that Ljubco Georgievski formed when he left VMRO-DPMNE – says Kekenovski.

According to Arsovski, it all depends on the congress and whether it will end in a friendly atmosphere.

-All options are possible. The election showed that smaller parties go badly and that a great opposition party is necessary. So I think it is good to unite and stand up for those who will receive support on Sunday, for a state without a strong opposition is not democracy – says Arsovski.

Earlier this year, there was a process of disintegration of the opposition party in Serbia.

Former Serbian president Boris Tadic decided to leave his native Democratic Party which he led for eight years due to disagreements with the incumbent leader Dragan Djilas. Soon he formed the New Democratic Party in which many members moved from Tadic’s old party.