North Macedonia’s Party Media Milk Budget Money for Ads
Portals under the Tetova-sot media group. Illustration: BIRN
Party affiliate reaps rewards of weak system
Rami Mislimi works in the mainly ethnic Albanian Municipality of Tetovo and at the same time pushes his journalistic career through the portal tetovasot.com.
He was employed by the municipality since 2012, when it was a stronghold of the DUI, the biggest ethnic Albanian party in the country, and was run by DUI mayors for over a decade.
Since the arrival of a new mayor, Bilal Kasami, from the Albanian opposition BESA, [oath] party, who defeated the DUI candidate in the October local elections, Mislimi has been on sick leave, and has requested unpaid leave.
Apart from tetovasot.com, a company with a similar name, Tetova-sot media, unites three other portals - bild.mk, indeks.mk and ts.mk. The company is formally owned by Remy's brother, Tefik, but in the journalistic community he is known as "owner of the Tetova-sot portal".
In the campaign for the last local elections, the four portals published adverts only for the DUI and for their services individually received the maximum amount of 15,000 euros plus VAT from the state funds.
The owner company, Tetova-sot media, collected a total of 70,800 euros for these services to the DUI.
No other legal entity operating an informative web portal or portals received a similar amount from the election budget.
The four sites of the Mislimi family are the only ones that received the maximum amount for party advertising on websites.
Rami Mislimi does not hide his ties to the DUI whose HQ is located in the village of Mala Recica, near Tetovo.
He posts photos of the DUI's long-standing leader Ali Ahmeti and of DUI...