The first NOF congress was held on 13 January 1948 in the premises of Sveti Nikola in the village B'mbel, Kostur region. It had a large area which could hold the many representatives who attended. More than 250 representatives from the whole of Aegean Macedonia attended as well as representatives from the Central Committee (CK) of KPG and from DAG with Ioannis Ioanidis and Leonidas Springos, who in effect organized and led the congress. Representatives from Thrace also attended as well as representatives from all the affiliated organizations.

Mihail Keramitchiev gave a report on the work of NOF to date. The congress sat for three days. Along with the reports and questions about the work of NOF, all of the members present, using a secret ballot, elected the main leadership group:

In the secretariat were:

1. Mihail Keramitchiev
2. Paskal Mitrevski
3. Kitsa Baleva-Vera

In the plenium:

1. Stavre Kochopoulos
2. Mihali Maliot
3. Pavle Rakovski
4. Mahi Gushopulos
5. Lazar Poplazarov
6. Done Sikavitsa
7. Sterjana Vangelova-Slavjanka
8. Pando Vajanevski

In the general committee:

From Lerin region:

1. Tane Lazar Naumov
2. German Laev
3. Tane Paskov
4. Ilo Dimakovski-Goche
5. Trifko Popov
6. Vangel Kojchev
7. Dimitri Velakis

Future candidates in the Lerin committee:

1. Todor Kochevsi-Viktor
2. Tego Stojnichin
3. Bae Koljo
4. Todor Gluvchev

From Kostur:

1. Lambro Cholakov
2. Kole Panov
3. Krste Risto Mangov
4. Paskal Paskalevski
5. Garefi
6. Zisi Delov

From Voden:

1. Foti Ajanovski
2. Mimi Ajanovski
3. Nikola Papaserbetchiev
4. Gogo Ralkov

During the first congress of NOF, Zaharijadis and Ioanidis saw the power of the oganization and instead of being happy with the Macedonian people being well organized, it was as though they were afraid of the Macedonians being led by the NOF organization. They made every effort they could to move people from their functional roles and to replace them with their own people in the leadership roles. With that aim, they began to criticize and belittle the members of the organization.

Zaharijadis and Ioanidis saw their plan fail following the secret ballot for the leadership of NOF. The delegates discovered some imposed names in the candidate list which KPG wanted at any cost to take the leadership of NOF. The people who were being put forward by KPG were known to be anti-Macedonian and the delegates simply deleted their names.

The elected delegates were:

1. Krste Kochevski
2. Tasho Gusopulos-Mahi
3. Mihali Maliot
4. Vangel Kojchev
5. Done Sikavitsa
6. Marko Duvalevski
7. Lambro Moskov
8. Nikola Papaserbetchiev

The results of the secret ballot brought disquiet and anger to the representatives of KPG. They still sought their nominees to be put into the leadership of NOF.

All the same, with great political persuasion, threats and scaremongering, the members of the Central Committee of KPG managed to put their affiliates into the Head committee of NOF to strengthen their influence even further, and with that to pursue whatever policy they might like.

Group of NOF leaders. From left to right: Boris Rakovski, Risto Andonovski, German Damovski-Stariot, Tane Naumov, Vane Ajanovski-Oche, Tego Stojnichin, Vangel Fermanov and Sultana Naskova.

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Lerin in Mourning