Authors: Angela Rajchevska and Bjanka Stankovikj
Former Prime Minister and current leader of SDSM, Zoran Zaev, will be challenged in the fourth constituency by Aleksandar Nikoloski, the right hand of the leader of VMRO-DPMNE. In the previous parliamentary elections, held in 2016, Zaev’s main opponent was the ex-leader of VMRO-DPMNE, Nikola Gruevski, who managed to win by about 3 percent.
The fourth constituency includes 19 municipalities from south and southeast Macedonia, including Strumica, the birthplace of the holder of the SDSM list in this constituency, Zoran Zaev. The former prime minister, according to the planned two list holders in the constituencies of SDSM and the Coalition, is accompanied by MP Sonja Mirakovska from the New Social Democratic Party (NSDP).
The other municipalities in Constituency 4 are: Prilep, Radovish, Konche, Valandovo, Gevgelija, Dojran, Bogdanci, Kavadarci, Negotino, Demir Kapija, Bitola (part), Krivogashtani (part), Mogila, Novaci, Rosoman, Bosilovo, Vasilevo and Novo Selo.
What property has Zaev declared?
Zoran Zaev has been a member of the Social Democratic Union of Macedonia since 1996. From 2003 to 2005 he was a Member of the Parliament of the Republic of Macedonia. In 2005 he became mayor of Strumica. In 2006 he was elected vice president of the Central Committee of SDSM, and in 2008 he became acting president of the party. Since 2013, Zaev has been the leader of SDSM. He is known to the public by the “Truth about Macedonia” project, which he started in 2015, publishing the wiretapped material that revealed the criminal activities of the then government led by Gruevski.
After the Przhino Agreement signed between the leaders of the four largest political parties for resolving the political crisis in the country and the parliamentary elections in 2016, followed by a period of political turmoil, including the violent incident in the Parliament on April 27, Zoran Zaev was elected Prime Minister of the Republic of Macedonia on May 31, 2017.
SCOOP had previously investigated and wrote about Zaev, within the project Politically Exposed Persons. He is fifth on the list of the richest members of the government. According to the analysis of the data from Zaev’s property list from 2018, his reported property has a value of 729,231 thousand Euros. Only the claim on the basis of a loan of nearly 70 thousand Euros is in his name. The term foreign currency deposit of 7 thousand Euros belongs to his wife, whereas 27 thousand Euros are declared to be in his children’s accounts. The house, the business premises, the apartment in Strumica, the agricultural land in Murtino and the shares worth about 200 thousand Euros belong to his parents.
Today, Zaev owns property worth 728,193 Euros. He supplemented it with an apartment with auxiliary premises in Strumica as his wife’s, a loan of 7 thousand Euros, also his wife’s and a motor vehicle Mini Cooper S as his children’s. In the current property list of Zaev, his wife’s time deposit has been reduced from 7 thousand to 200 Euros.
In the investigative story Government officials own shares in big companies, SCOOP revealed that the Prime Minister has declared shares of his parents in the amount of 12,000,000 denars. SCOOP has sent questions to his office to clarify where the shares apply, but we have not received an answer until the publication of the text.
As for the investigation of state officials who found themselves in court, State officials both on MP and court chair, the Prime Minister was under the scrutiny of the SCPC for the cases “Global”, “One Euro Corruption“, “Zaev’s Bulgarian companies” and for the sale of the barrack’s land in Strumica.
According to the SCOOP latest investigation, Officials spent a lot on plane tickets, hotel accommodation and representation, of the eleven government officials who had spent money from the state budget, Zoran Zaev spent the most – 1,008,017 denars, most of which for catering services through canteens, restaurants and buffets within the institutions. He spent 2,356 Euros on gifts given during official visits or other circumstances.
Sonja Mirakovska is Prime Minister Zoran Zaev’s companion in the fourth constituency. She is a member of the New Democratic Party and a Member of Parliament.
Since the beginning of the project Politically Exposed Persons until today, according to data from the State Commission for Prevention of Corruption, Mirakovska has owned the same property registered in her name consisting of an apartment in Skopje worth 37,100 Euros and an Aveo Chevrolet worth 12,000 Euros. She also has a foreign currency savings book with 5,000 Euros. The total value of her property is 54,100 Euros.
SCPC has no data about Nikoloski
Aleksandar Nikoloski is a longtime member of VMRO-DPMNE and a member of parliament for several terms. Nikoloski was the president of the UMS of VMRO-DPMNE in the period from 2004 to 2008. In the period from 2004 to 2013 he was a member of the EC of VMRO-DPMNE. He was re-elected to this position in 2017. In 2009, Nikoloski became a member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, and in 2014 he was elected First Vice President of the Monitoring Committee of the Council of Europe. He was appointed international secretary of VMRO-DPMNE in 2015.
The SCPC says that there is no data on him because he has not held a state or public office since 2016.
DUI does not have a holder in Constituency 4, whereas a list holder from the Alliance for Albanians and Alternative Coalition is Fatmir Mexhiti.