We arrived at the windy Shtip with two CIVIL teams on Fenruary 26, and started dissemination of awareness-raising materials right away. Some citizens of Shtip complained about the health system in Shtip that is under pressure of the ruling party. One man came up to us and explained that one needs to be a political party supporter to ensure he will receive health care. All the citizens we met that day were informed about the Forward! project and some showed interest in participating in the I stand for free elections photo petition.
At the Probishtip square there wasn’t much people to talk to. Some were sitting at the only café on the square, others at the restaurant. Very few walkers by, but the residents of Probishtip we did meet especially stressed their firm commitment to free elections and expressed their hopes that Macedonia should finally get the government it deserves.
We also had the pleasure to meet with а female representative from a local NGO. She stated that her organization strongly supports CIVIL and wished us all the best in our efforts to insure free elections for all the citizens.
After the event in Probishtip, the CIVIL team continued towards Kratovo and we were pleasantly surprised by the welcome greetings we received and the interest that the citizens of Kratovo showed for cooperation in the monitoring of elections.
Kumanovo was a busy town in the afternoon. Despite the rain, you could feel the town had a heartbeat. Some citizens we met mentioned that a political cold war is going on in Kumanovo between the ruling party and the opposition activists. Most people complained that the common folk got divided based on their political beliefs. They all expressed their resolution for free elections and wished for a better government.
We had a very lively visit to Kumanovo, gave out at least 800 leaflets containing all the necessary info that our applicants for observers should know. We also held a press conference for the media at the square: "New Yugoslavia." We presented the Forward! project to the citizens of Kumanovo through television TV Plus and the national TV station from Skopje TV 21, whose team came to the Kumanovo square.
We also held a meeting with representatives from various political parties that supported our project and expressed their full support in our efforts to secure free elections.