Wiretapping scandal set 9: Centar municipality
This, ninth in a row, set of wiretapped conversations is the first one published by another party instead of SDSM; and also this is the first set presented by a man who is not a party leader (albeit previously, until the beginning of February 2015, he was a president of the Liberal Democratic Party).
The played conversations from this set are related to the Municipality of Centar, and they reveal election set ups by VMRO-DPMNE in attempt to retain the rule in this municipality at all cost, in order the project Skopje 2014 to continue, but we also hear about attempts for bribing councilors from the opposition parties to become members of VMRO-DPMNE.
The first conversation between Janakieski and Mijalkov occurs during the vote counting, whereupon both of them are nervous because the opposition is in the lead, so we hear Janakieski threatening that he will move out the entire building near Bristol hotel and will imprison the people because they did not vote for VMRO-DPMNE.
In the next conversation we can hear about Jankuloska’s struggle to “accommodate” the phantom voters in the Municipality of Centar and she plans how to avoid to respond to the State Election Commission and also to avoid a meeting with Zhernovski, because, as she says, “you have nothing to say, you are caught red handed” regarding the phantom voters. Then we hear Janakieski’s confession about the elevators blocked on purpose so elderly people won’t be able to reach the polling places. In the next conversation Janakieski consults the deputy Minister of Justice whether they can get a hold of the electoral role in order to copy it with a goal to see who voted and who didn’t, and then he arranges pressuring of the teachers with the president of the Council of the City of Skopje in order to secure more votes for VMRO-DPMNE.
In the following conversations we hear Gruevski saying that “the people from Prespa” would have done the trick; then we hear him ordering spoilt ballots as much as possible, but also we can hear him how annoyed he is because of the complaints from the opposition and because they are losing, so he gives orders for putting pressure on Vladimir Todorovikj not to officialy accept the defeat, on which Janakieski responds that Todorovikj was already instructed to act accordinglyu
In another conversation we hear Jankuloska talking about urgent setting up of 20 nonstandard monuments in Centar which cannot be realized anymore, so she requests more police officers in the Municipality of Centar because “maybe the commies will come out” and she also requests deleting data on a computer in the Municipal Hall of Centar in order to hide the traces.
Then we hear how Sasho Mijalkov and Mile Janakieski arrange bribery of a councilor from the opposition by urgently legalizing his house, and Janakieski says that VMRO-DPMNE will even pay the expenses worth 200.000, i.e. as Mijalkov says “it’s our treat”.
At the end we hear a conversation between Mijalkov and Dragan Pavlovikj – Latas in which they talk about hiding the evidence of what has VMRO-DPMNE been doing and how to set the scene for the newly elected mayor Zhernovski in order to be tamed, i.e. to be “put him in the machine”. In addition, they also talk about possible defection of councilors – probably four – from the opposition party to VMRO-DPMNE.
All of the “bombs” are here.
Press conference of Andrej Zhernovski, mayor of Centar municipality, Skopje, 12th of March 2015
(Below you will find the transcripts in English of the records played in this press conference)
Conversation between Mile Janakieski and Saso Mijalkov
SM: Speak Mile. I’m with the chief now.
MJ: From 39 polling stations processed…
SM: Yes? How many percent is that?
MJ: I’ll tell you – 42.4.
MJ: We have 7178 [votes], they have 7391, making a difference of 120.
SM: In their favour?
MJ: Yes. 220 [votes], I lied.
SM: 220 for them?
MJ: Yes, at 42 percent processed.
SM: We are going to lose by two-three hundred votes? Bullshit!
MJ: Second round Saso. I told you, there will be a second round. I think there will be. There will be around thousand and something invalid ballots.
SM: If we manage to have a second round, we’ll f**k him in the second round. But, first we need to make sure there is second round.
MJ: I’m going to move the building of the hotel Bristol, if necessary, I’m going to s***w their mother.
MJ: I’ll move the entire building. Lock them down, so they won’t go out.
SM: You say they [make the difference]?
MJ: They’ve created a major difference there, to hell.
SM: How much?
MJ: Go to the Bristol building, two polling stations, 2852…..190 [votes] difference.
Conversation between Gordana Jankuloska and Nikola Todorov
GJ: One more consultation with you. I will not answer to SEC’s [State Electoral Commission] request about the voters list, and I have still not answered them about [Municipality of] Centar, because…
NT: You mean that thing these people set us up for, mother f**kers.
GJ: Yes. Because however I answer, it won’t be in our favour. I have designed a round-the-bush answer, but nevertheless, they enlisted people by name and surname, you know. There are around 50 people for which nothing can be invented.
GJ: As for the others, you can say this or that, but for these one doesn’t know what to say, we are caught in flagrante, hahahaha.
GJ: Yes. And now, I think I should not answer them until the elections are over, and will send them an answer around 8th [April], will come up with something that we think is appropriate. There is one more thing. Andrej Zernovski is intensively asking for a meeting with me, to discuss the voters list.
NT: You should schedule him for 15th April, hahaha.
GJ: No way. I’m not meeting with him. I expect him to come out on Monday and say that he had asked for a meeting, or maybe during the weekend, but Monday is a working day and it would be stupid of him to come out for such thing on Sunday, he’s not that stupid, I think. It goes without saying that I will not answer him back and I’ll issue a communication, or make a statement, depends on my other tasks for that day, or maybe a press release, if I don’t have other duties for that day, saying that we appeal to all candidates not to pressure MOI, because we can’t be part of their campaigns, blah, blah.
NT: MOI is a professional institution and is outside of…
GJ: Yes. He will go public and say: I asked for a meeting about the voters list… Listen to this: he presents himself as the President of the Liberal Party.
NT: Aaaa, “il Presdiente”.
GJ: Or how is it called – LDP. He requested the meeting in that capacity. Wait a minute: you are a mayor candidate for Municipality of Centar. This is my plan, but I will not answer him today. People from his cabinet have called today, probably his wife. I won’t answer him today, but make a statement on Monday and say other candidates requested meetings…
NT: We will attack him hard today, about some apartments.
GJ: Well, nothing then. You stomp on him, and he would have to justify himself.
NT: Very strong. We’ll be stomping him from today until Tuesday, Wednesday. He’ll be under permanent “fire”.
GJ: Listen, I have another option for him, but it depends on how things go that day.
GJ: Because he said he requested a meeting about the voters list, I can respond that his request has been forwarded to the competent institution- the State Electoral Commission.
NT: Yes. You can do that.
GJ: But it depends on what will be the best that day.
NT: You know what? Do that as part of the project “there is no wrong door”, we forwarded the request…. hahaha.
GJ: Yes, yes. Your request has been forwarded to the institution competent for that question.
GJ: Depends on how the day goes, you know, that’s important, as long as we are coordinated.
NT: We’ll fire at him now, no need for you to take steps, before he makes a move.
GJ: No, no, no. I will wait for him to go public first.
NT: I can’t wait for our “fire” today. Today, tomorrow, he’ll be in mode of justifying, same on Sunday. On Monday, we make the second step. On Monday and Tuesday he again justifies himself and by Wednesday we will have the grand finale.
GJ: And he’ll be fed up.
NT: That’s all.
GJ: And the campaign will be over.
Conversation between Mile Janakieski and interlocutor
MJ: Commies have gone mad on the net, their journalists also.
NN: What you mean?
MJ: This is a shameful scandal, we have hit rock bottom with the letters.
NN: With what?
MJ: The letters we circulated. Forgery, criminal charges, to be held responsible…
NN: Where do you read that?
MJ: On Facebook, Twitter, this Sase Analytico, Meri who covered the story, about the administration, you remember, way back.
NN: And what do they say?
MJ: About the letter? That we have hit rock bottom. That people have been reduced to entertainment. That we have forged the signature. That such action is a criminal offense.
NN: Criminal offence, don’t say.
MJ: Otherwise, the elevators are out of work this morning.
NN: I’m going out now to see what’s happening. What can happen, brother?
MJ: They’ll go mad.
NN: Is it good now?
MJ: Don’t know, we’ll see.
NN: Where are you?
MJ: But the elevators are not working, hahaha.
NN: Hahaha. It will be a circus show. They’ll yell and scream. They’ll be knocked out of their socks.
MJ: You say?
NN: They’ll yell. They’ll go bunkers.
MJ: Can the elderly come down from the 15th floor? No?
NN: No way. They won’t come down.
MJ: You say?
NN: No, no way. What’s with you? Near my skyscrapers, it’s complete silence. Not a single man outside. To hell with it. As for the letter, if they have given it, it’s to the point.
MJ: We’ll see. Comments are negative for the time being.
Conversation between Biljana Briskovska and Mile Janakieski
BB: Listen. This is how things stand. President [of electoral committee] in Centar is a moron that works in the General Secretariat, at a department, i.e. in Sule’s department at the General Secretariat. So, we can strong-arm him to bring us the voters list from there, with circled names of those who voted and who didn’t, make a copy thereof and return it.
MJ: Where does he work?
BB: In the General Secretariat. I’ll…
MJ: What’s his name?
BB: Kosta is his name. I don’t know his surname, but he works with Kire, and I think his boss is this Sule person.
BB: Yes, Sule, Sule.
MJ: All right. I’ll talk to them.
Conversation between Mile Janakieski and Irena Miseva
MJ: Please call all teachers, from the call centre.
IM: All right.
MJ: With the following message: We thank you for turning out at polling stations to vote.
IM: I’m listening.
MJ: For final victory of VMRO-DPMNE in Centar, we kindly ask you to secure another vote for VMRO-DPMNE.
IM: OK. OK. Ciao.
Conversation between Mile Janakieski and Nikola Gruevski
NG: Mile, how it’s going?
MJ: Kapistec has two polling posts, we’re in the lead. 23 polling posts have been processed.
MJ: 43 are unprocessed; we’re in the lead by 140. It’s mixed. Meaning, only where… In my opinion, it will be plus or minus 600 votes and there might be a second round, because, on average, Municipality of Centar has had around 1,000-1,500 invalid ballots…
NG: Aha, aha. So, if we had the people from Prespa, we would have had this matter finished?
NG: Well yes. OK Mile. Talk soon. Call me from time to time with updates about the result.
Conversation between Mile Janakieski and Nikola Gruevski
MJ: 51 polling posts are processed… we are losing by 580 votes difference.
NG: What do you thing? Will there be a second round?
MJ: I’m counting the invalid [ballots], President. There are lots of invalid ballots, there always were more than thousand, and if we continue this trend I think we can go for a second round…
NG: How many [invalid ballots] is enough? What’s the threshold for enough?
MJ: Between 1000-1500 [invalid ballots] were counted on previous elections, now in average there are 20 to 30 per polling post, so there should be around 700-800 invalid… their number will be close to that.
NG: How many we need to have a second round?
MJ: Difference between SDSM and VMRO should be lower than the number of invalid [ballots].
NG: But I’m listening to Saso, he is assessing that they would beat us by more than 1000 in Centar…. Is that possible?
MJ: Vodno [election committees] counted [votes] for Koce (I’m talking with the Prime Minister), Koce won in both, and they are big [polling posts], Koce won there by 140…
NG: What about our [candidate]?
MJ: They’re counting for Todorovic, they took Koce first, City of Skopje Council and Koce…
NG: But it’s not the same, it’s not the same.
MJ: I know.
MJ: It would be around [that number], 100 plus or minus…
NG: You know what Mile, tell our people there to make as many invalid [ballots] as possible…. Halo?
MJ: Yes, yes, I’m listening.
NG: I say: Saso says to send a message to our people there to make as more invalid as possible…
MJ: They have been told, they know, they have been told this morning…
NG: And about the result reports, so later we can…
MJ: Yes, ye, to have remarks…
NG: To be able to go to court…
NG: Go now.
Conversation between Nikola Gruevski and Mile Janakieski
MJ: Yes, please.
NG: Mile, are we submitting complaints?
MJ: Complaints are submitted for all [polling posts].
NG: Are there any reasonably grounded?
MJ: About SDSM taking IDs, reading names out loud, making a fuss outside [posts].
MJ: Which is not [a minor thing].
NG: And Nano Ruzin.
MJ: Yes. Nano Ruzin and Sekerinska were doing that in part, stopping [people]…
MJ: They’re submitted. I talked to everybody, to make more complaints. Nino and I, we talked…
MJ: Nino and I talked, agreed to have more submitted.
NG: Yes, yes. I told Nino to submit, if not for any other purpose, to buy time, you know, to finish the matters we have here in Centar.
MJ: Yes, good.
NG: That’s for now. We did all we could.
MJ: And then some more.
NG: And then some more. Well said.
MJ: We need to sit down and summarize. It is what it is.
NG: Is Vlado aware that he’s losing?
MJ: In war there are both losers and winners. You say?
MJ: It’s a war, somebody loses, somebody wins. It’s that simple.
NG: Vlado, is he aware of the defeat?
MJ: He was just preparing for a statement acknowledging the defeat, but I told him not to make a statement. I said: hey, wait, you don’t know yet. But, he is ready.
NG: No need, nobody from SDS gave a statement. Who makes a statement of having lost? Fool, You tell him to wait for somebody from SDS to make a statement, and he should do that tomorrow or the day after, not rush into it.
MJ: I told him not to make a statement. OK.
NG: You pull him together, don’t let him do something stupid, because then… our words will not stick.
MJ: Yes, yes. I told him.
MJ: Bye now.
Conversation between Gordana Jankuloska and interlocutor
GJ: It seems we can’t finish the job with your Centar.
I: I just spoke to Vlatko and told him that lodging complaints is to no avail. Vlatko says…
GJ: He also told me that we’re making fools of ourselves by lodging complaints.
I: That’s really stupid.
GJ: I’m calling for something else. It has been scheduled for some disproportional monuments to be placed in the Municipality of Centar…
I : Yes, 20 [of them]
GJ : This would have been business as usual if we had won… You call Zoran Markovski to mobilize [the police] and have more policemen, because commies might go out. This will take place in the morning, they’ll be sleeping, but you know, something might happen and in order to prevent a mess in the morning you should phone Zoran Markovski this evening.
I: I’ll call him right now.
GJ: I don’t know him. He’s one of yours, otherwise I would have called… you’re tied to him.
I: I’ll call him, no problem.
GJ: Phone him before going to bed, to…
I: They’ll bring them [monuments] early in the morning. Macko just called and told me. He also asked to send him a person to erase everything from the hard disks on the computer, to clean everything…
GJ: Auu, auuu… there’s no other way; we’ll help as much as we can…
I: That’s that. Marijan is a good man…
GJ: No, Marijan is geat.
I: I say he’s the brightest spot in that municipality.
GJ: We should take Macko with us.
I: Yes, Macko is really good.
GJ: I don’t know what he is by profession.
I: He should have… I just asked him where is he going now, and he said that his place in [the Ministry of] labour and social affairs, is on hold, he’s a state advisor there…
GJ: It’s not bad.
I: No, no, he’s not in a bad place, God forbid.
GJ: If he doesn’t like it there, we can take him.
I: I’ll tell him, I was about to phone him…
GJ: Good Riste. Go see to this matter. I hope that we’re bringing things to their end in Centar.
I: That’s it for now… in 4 years [maybe]… I was just thinking, we won in 2005 with the grandma Larva…
GJ: Yes. But, it is what it is.
Conversation between Mile Janakieski and Saso Mijalkov
МЈ: Hey Sase!
SM: Mile, do you hear me?
MJ: Yes, yes. The connection was interrupted. Speak.
SM: You hear me now?
MJ: Yes, yes.
SM: Do you hear me?
MJ: Yes, yes. Speak.
SM: The thing you just sent me, what it is? Final decision?
МЈ: Yes, decision, he only needs to make the payment. I mean, we can pay for him, but he needs to sign it and then we’ll issue him today the approval.
SM: What would you give him today?
MJ: Approval for the house legalization. [The procedure] is in two steps. First you issue him the urban approval…
SM: So, which [document] I have now, today? Which document do I have with me?
MJ: Urban approval and calculation for how much he should pay for legalization.
MJ: Once he pays, he’ll be issued a decision that his building is…
SM: OK. What should I tell him? Should I say: this is from us?
SM: Like welcome aboard.
MJ: Yes, and tell him, we’ll pay for him.
SM: It’s our gift, no obligation, but you think about what you should do. Right?
MJ: Yes. He doesn’t have to pay, around 200 and something thousands, we’ll pay. You agree that, but he needs to sign the payment slip, formally and legally.
SM: How many thousands?
MJ: 200 and something. 230.
SM: ЕWell, how are we to pay him 200 thousands?
MJ: No, if he accepts first.
MJ: If he accepts.
SM: Wait, I don’t understand you now. What should I tell him? Should I say: this is done now it’s up to you?
MJ: You say: here, we are giving you legalization of the house, you pay for it. Additionally, you could tell him that we can have that handled, we can pay for him. That’s it.
MJ: Where are you? At work? Hello?
SM: do you hear me?
MJ: I’m losing you. Do you hear me now?
SM: Yes, speak.
SM: I’m not here. I’m in Greece.
MJ: Аааааа. When are you coming back?
SM: Tomorrow the latest.
MJ: Well, I don’t know how to do this thing. Somebody should give him [the document] in person.
SM: I’ll tell him this: the document is in my office, see you tomorrow.
MJ: Right. Done deal. Bye.
SM: But wait a minute. What if he says he’s not ready to accept the job, what should I tell him then… what?
MJ: Well, I don’t know how cruel we should be. I don’t know what to say.
SM: It’s a bit tricky. If we say this is done, we should also say, it’s on us, it’s our treat…
MJ: We’ll play him later as well, don’t you think? Once he changed sides…
SM: I think that’s smoother. Why don’t we say: here, this is the document, if you don’t [accept], then nothing. You understand?
SM: That sound more like a blackmail, it’s bad.
MJ: I agree.
MJ: I agree.
SM: This is from us, and you see what you should do.
MJ: Yes, that’s right.
SM: Like a welcome gift, right?
MJ: Yes. That’s what we should do.
MJ: Right. Right.
SM: If you don’t want to, you don’t have to. This is from us.
MJ: We’ll see what to do afterwards.
MJ: Look, we’re solving his life issue, so it won’t be easy for him [to reject us].
SM: Yes, yes. OK. Bye.
Conversation between Dragan Pavlovik – Latas and Saso Mijalkov
DPL: How can I help commander…
SM: Commander, what are you doing…
DPL: Nothing, I’m reading something on the Internet…
DPL: I’m browsing the Internet…
SM: What does it say…
DPL: 45 [polling posts] in Centar and 20 in Struga, we asked for second round [of voting]…
SM: What 45?
DPL: How do you call it… complaints
SM: 45 posts in Centar?
DPL: That’s how it’s written…
SM: No. We don’t know how many [complaints] will stick. They are grounded for all 46, but… we’ll see.
DPL: We need to do something, to gain more time and demonstrate…
SM: What do you think, say it.
DPL: I think we should give…
SM: Is that so? We need re-balloting, and see what will happen… even if we lose, so what?
DPL: Right. First, you gain 15 days for people to go back in the municipality and complete some things, to sign some minutes and reports, because, you see, we need to catch him off guard with the monuments and stuff…
DPL: In 15 days you can reduce, i.e. you can put the monuments, sign for their receipt, and reduce the risk of having him say stuff on TV…
SM: You’re right…
DPL: And maybe something can be done after all, you never know…
SM: You never know…
DPL: Right. And we’ll put him in the “grinder”, slowly…
SM: You say?
DPL: We’ll put him in the “grinder”, slowly.
SM: This one?
DPL: Yes, yes, yes.
SM: I think to…
DPL: I think also…
SM: …the [Municipal] Council
DPL: Well, somebody in the Council will change teams, patience…
DPL: Somebody will change teams. I don’t know the composition, are they all from SDSM or are there people from other [opposition] parties… Have you seen the Council composition?
SM: There are people from other [parties]…Kole “Big Nose” is there…
DPL: Kole “Big Nose”? What is his party?
SM: Don’t know. He was from … the Liberal [Party] or LDP [Liberal Democratic Party]
DPL: Members from the Liberal [Party] voluntarily [changed sides]…
SM: From Tito’s party… he’s from LDP.
DPL: It’s possible, it’s possible.
SM: Yes. Then you have Tito’s secretary.
DPL: We’ll find ate least one, patience…
SM: There are 3-4
DPL: Godspeed, don’t hurry with great news, hahahaha
SM: 4 are on transfer, so we’ll see how many of them would work out…
DPL: Two are enough….
DPL: If two of them transfer, it’s enough.
SM: Even one is more than sufficient… We would make [majority in] the Council and he’ll be f**ked…
DPL: Right. Of course. Yes, yes. He won’t be able to do anything without the Council.
This article was created within the framework of the Project to increase the accountability of the politicians and political parties Truthmeter implemented by Metamorphosis. The article is made possible by the generous support of the National Endowment for Democracy(NED) and The Balkan Trust for Democracy (BTD), a project of the German Marshall Fund of the United States, an initiative that supports democracy, good governance, and Euroatlantic integration in Southeastern Europe. The content is the responsibility of its author and does not necessarily reflect the views of Metamorphosis, National Endowment for Democracy, the Balkan Trust for Democracy, the German Marshall Fund of the United States, or its partners.