Zaev-Mickoski televised Debate marked by Different stands on Many issues

As expected, Tuesday’s televised debate between PM and SDSM leader Zoran Zaev and VMRO-DPMNE leader Hristijan Mickoski was marked by different stands on a huge number of issues. Regarding the part of the Public Prosecutor’s Office Draft Law concerning the Special Prosecutor’s Office (SPO), despite both politicians saying they wished for compromise to be reached, they have different views on how the SPO should function. VMRO-DPMNE considers that the SPO should become a department that will deal with high-level corruption within the frameworks of the Prosecutor’s Office for Organised Crime and Corruption, whereas SDSM is of the opinion that it should remain a special office within the frameworks of the public prosecutor’s office. The presidential race, too, was among the topics. Both Zaev and Mickoski are convinced the SDSM and VMRO-DPMNE candidates, Stevo Pendarovski and Gordana SIljanovska Davkova, respectively, will win. As Zaev pointed out, if Pendarovski is defeated by Siljanovska Davkova, SDSM will agree to early elections. In return, he asked Mickoski whether he would resign as VMRO-DPMNE leader if his party’s candidate lost. However, the VMRO-DPMNE leader didn’t give a specific answer. Among the other topics discussed was also the Prespa Agreement. Mickoski still considers the name deal to be harmful. He stated that his party would work on fixing its consequences, but didn’t directly say whether VMRO-DPMNE would annul it in the event of it becoming the ruling party.