Bonum Certa Men Certa

An EPO Administrative Council Exposé — Part X: A “Fall Guy” For the Deputy Minister?

Series index:

  1. An EPO Administrative Council Exposé -- Part I: A New EPO Balkan Affair?
  2. An EPO Administrative Council Exposé — Part II: A Mysterious Fist-Bumping Masquerade in Skopje
  3. An EPO Administrative Council Exposé — Part III: A Longtime Associate of the Doyen
  4. An EPO Administrative Council Exposé — Part IV: A Party Political Animal
  5. An EPO Administrative Council Exposé — Part V: Sharing Out the Spoils of Public Office
  6. An EPO Administrative Council Exposé — Part VI: A Learned Legal Luminary
  7. An EPO Administrative Council Exposé — Part VII: An Academic Institution With a Political Mission
  8. An EPO Administrative Council Exposé — Part VIII: An Inspector Calls
  9. An EPO Administrative Council Exposé — Part IX: “There Are Indications of a Violation of the Law…”
  10. You are here ☞ A "Fall Guy" For the Deputy Minister?


Safet Emruli for Albania
Did Emruli (right) end up as a "fall guy" for his more senior party colleague Agim Nuhiu (left)?



Summary: The party politics which led to the disappearance of one enabler of Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos; another delegate recently emerged at the EPO's Administrative Council

As we mentioned in the last part, Emruli submitted his resignation as Director of the North Macedonian State Office for Intellectual Property (SOIP) some time around 22 October 2020.



"Bekteshi was one of Emruli's former "protectors" who had supported his reappointment in 2018. It was therefore to be expected that Bekteshi would try to retain Emruli at the helm of the SOIP."His departure came as something of a surprise because Kreshnik Bekteshi from the DUI had managed to hold on to his position as Minister for the Economy in the new government formed in following the July election.

Bekteshi was one of Emruli's former "protectors" who had supported his reappointment in 2018. It was therefore to be expected that Bekteshi would try to retain Emruli at the helm of the SOIP.

Bekteshi and Topic in SOIP
DUI Minister Bekteshi (left) with EPO Vice-President Topić at a SOIP event in October 2018. Bekteshi supported Emruli's reappointment in 2018 but was unable to save him in 2020.



However, as will be explained in more detail below, there are reasons to suspect that Emruli ended up as a "casualty" of inter-party political machinations and deal-making connected with the formation of the new government in the late summer of 2020.

Goran Gerasinmovski
Was Gerasimovski's promotion as head of the SOIP part of backroom political deal which involved shafting Emruli?



The current government in North Macedonia which was formed after the July 2020 general election is a coalition led by the social-democratic SDSM in an alliance with the DUI and BESA.

Both of the junior coalition partners, DUI and BESA, represent the ethnic Albanian minority. BESA was founded in 2014. It is a centre-left social-democratic party with less nationalistic "baggage" than the DUI and, in the run-up to the July 2020 election, it formed a pre-election pact with the Macedonian SDSM. Although it BESA a relative newcomer to the political scene, it has nevertheless succeeded in establishing itself as the second largest ethnic Albanian party in Macedonia after the DUI.

"It was recently announced in the Macedonian press that he had entered the race as a candidate for the position of the municipality's mayor in the upcoming local elections."Turning now to Emruli's successor as director of the SOIP, Goran Gerasinmovski is known to be a member of the SDSM, the dominant partner in the current coalition. As matter of fact, he is one of the party's rising stars – or at least he appears to have aspirations in that direction.

More specifically, Gerasimovski is the chairman of the party's local branch in Centar, a municipality of the capital city Skopje where he resides. It was recently announced in the Macedonian press that he had entered the race as a candidate for the position of the municipality's mayor in the upcoming local elections.

Goran Gerasinmovski, SDSM
Goran Gerasimovski has been an active member of the social-democratic SDSM since 2000.



Emruli's resignation and Gerasimovski's promotion to director of the SOIP seem to have been part of some kind of backroom political deal hammered out between the SDSM and the DUI during the formation of the new government.

"As a matter of fact, Nuhiu was so rattled by the exposure of his unlawful activities at SUT, that he tried unsuccessfully to intimidate Ilievski into covering up the affair."In September 2020, about a month before Emruli's resignation was announced, it was reported in the Macedonian media that the SDSM's Albanian coalition partners, the DUI and BESA, were to get seven deputy minister posts between them. One of the new deputy ministers was Agim Nuhui who was earmarked to become Deputy Minister for Justice.

Agim Nuhui
Despite being heavily compromised by the SUT affair, Nuhiu's appointment as Deputy Minister for Justice was announced in September 2020.



As has already been mentioned in the earlier parts of the series, Nuhiu was one of the three DUI officials who had been heavily compromised by the irregularities at the SUT Faculty of Law uncovered by Gjorgji Ilievski in April 2019.

At the time in question he was the Deputy Minister for the Interior. As a matter of fact, Nuhiu was so rattled by the exposure of his unlawful activities at SUT, that he tried unsuccessfully to intimidate Ilievski into covering up the affair. [PDF]

Following Ademi's departure from the Ministry for Education in August 2020, it seems plausible that the SDSM additionally demanded Emruli's head as the price for Nuhiu's promotion to second-in-charge at the Justice Ministry. In this way the SDSM could then hope to exploit the opportunity created by Emruli's departure to parachute their own man into the top position at the SOIP.

"If this analysis of events is correct, then it seems that Emruli ended up being obliged to play the "fall guy" for his more senior party comrade Nuhiu."Whatever political deal was cut behind the scenes, Emruli fell on his sword shortly after attending the 164th meeting of the EPO Administrative Council on 13 October 2020 (held as an e-meeting). It can be safely assumed that in doing so he was following instructions from his superiors in the DUI who appear to have decided that he had to be sacrificed for the "greater good" of the party.

If this analysis of events is correct, then it seems that Emruli ended up being obliged to play the "fall guy" for his more senior party comrade Nuhiu. He was forced to bite the bullet and resign while Nuhiu escaped unscathed - for the moment at least.

It now remains to be seen how the prosecutorial investigation into the irregularities at the SUT Faculty of Law will proceed under the newly appointed deputy Minister for Justice - honi soît qu mal y pense...

"In the remaining parts of the series we will turn our attention to the broader implications of this latest "Balkan Affair" for EPO governance."That more or less concludes our efforts to cast some badly needed light on the circumstances surrounding Safet Emruli's sudden and mysterious "disappearance" from the EPO's Administrative Council towards the end of 2020.

In the remaining parts of the series we will turn our attention to the broader implications of this latest "Balkan Affair" for EPO governance.

Join us in the next part as we hop on board the "Balkan Express" to take a look at some of the problems afflicting "captured states" in South-Eastern Europe, in particular North Macedonia.

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