Zoran Zaev, the New President of SDSM: Facing Great Challenges

The congress of main party in FYROM dualist political life, social-democratic SDSM had a major theme coping and exit strategy from political marginalization via several defeats by Nikola Gruevski’s SDSM, mainly blamed on mismanagement of oppositional activities modeled by its long-time leader Branko Crvenkovski.

Crvenkovski, even in spite of the fact that he had a non-insignificant numbers of supporters in SDSM’s crisis, several times explicitly and categorically stated that he will withdrew from all function of SDSM. Thus, the chief purpose of the SDSM congress was election of a new party leader. Crvenkovski stated that he will not provide any support, open or covert, to any candidate. Among these were MP Igor Ivanovski (who withdrew before the congress), party vice-president Zoran Jovanovski, mayor of town of Strumica, Zoran Zaev and Kire Naumov, intelligence expert.

In the seclusive process of voting during congress, during which candidates presented their version of future SDSM, Zoran Zaev (Зоран Заев, b. 1974, an economist), who had a reputation of eloquence, close relations to citizens of Strumica municipality and spotless biography as well as being popular on national level, won the vote.

Zoran Zaev, now a new party president is left to modernization of SDSM, restructuring of party bodies, providing a program which would deal with issues of priority regarding FYROM, among which the main in internal politics are issues of rule of law, vision for sustainable development and on external issues, pursuing a pro-European agenda with concrete moves as well as  focusing on solution of name and identity issue with neighboring Greece. These goals may be achieved by distancing the party of Stalinist symbolism which characterized the SDSM failed “Resistance” movement.

It is up to Zaev to delegitimize the populist and authoritarian Pseudomacedonian ideology based VMRO-DPMNE, a monumental task which unfortunately couldn’t be handled by extremely regressive and repetitive patterns of work by Crvenkovski in recent seven years of Gruevski’s dictatorship.

Vladislav Perunović, Skopje, FYROM


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