The Skopje Prosecution has recorded conversations about purchasing and selling of
votes. The Socialists targeted Roma in particular: those who followed orders,
received money or building materials in return, published the Italian daily La Verita,
"As we have said, today we are continuing to publish a video regarding our research
into the Macedonian justice system. Existing documentation at the Skopje
Prosecutor's Office for Fighting Organized Crime possesses excerpts from recorded
conversations that suggest that ex-Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, along with his brother
Vice Zaev, speaking on the phone, managing a well-developed vote-buying network
based on money and blackmail in order to get votes, especially from Roma living in
Strumica”, reports La Verita.
Analyzed documents describe a scenario in which the then SDSM leader and the
mayor of Strumica, suspected of electoral fraud, used irregular means to be elected
to parliament and then become prime minister. Voters who decided to cooperate
were paid, for each vote, from 10 to 25 euros each, in two exchange offices run by
one Vice Zaev and one of his colleagues, according to the Italian media outlet.
One of the two exchange offices, "Daskal", is owned by Marjan Daskalovski, who
was also elected to the Parliament along with Zaev, and was president of the local
branch of SDSM. In case the amount was not enough to convince the citizens, they
went on to offer building materials for building houses or connecting their homes to
the communal infrastructure.
The man who was in charge of the market connection to or exclusion from the
communal infrastructure, the one who controlled the municipal staff, was the director
of the PE Komunalec-Strumica, Zoran Georgiev. Using the official resources at his
disposal, he threatened or punished those who hesitated to cooperate in voting, and
of course rewarded others.
In Macedonia, Georgiev is known for being the head of all Zaev's election campaigns
and being the husband of a Strumica court judge, Loreta Georgieva, who under the
rule of Zoran Zaev became a member of the Judicial Council, the institution tasked
with controlling the work and efficiency of Macedonian judges.
Laris Gajzer 26.01.2020, „La Verita“