Children are misused in the election campaign

In the election campaign, the public administration was an active part of the political parties which participated with its own candidates in early presidential and parliamentary elections. Besides pressures, constraints, threats and obligations that are consistently available, including professors and teachers, are asked by phone to be present in rallies and the involvement of youth in the electoral process.

According to information from our observers, children are used for massive agitation, monitoring and replenishment of the number of the participants. The mass media propaganda included children from 6-10 years old to discuss politics. They are influenced by their parents who are members of political parties or workers whose job depends on the election result. At the square in Kumanovo, a group of children clashed about which of the presidential candidates is better. A kid has received a promise from his parents that he will take part in their voting, to learn how to vote. In Strumica, children in front of deputy’s house Slavic Goshev yelled the name of Stevo Pendarovski, while another group of children, Gjorgje Ivanov. They paraded on streets without any reaction from the elderly. On Facebook there were pictures of children, wearing T-shirts and other political signs.

An example for partial agitating are the teachers in Tetovo. A student was called by his professor in his office. The professor asked him to which party their parents belong. Fearing for his grade, he said that his parents are sympathizers of the same party that the professor is.

Juveniles were present at political rallies of VMRO-DPMNE, DUI, SDSM and DPA with flags, hats and other party signs in Tetovo, Gostivar, Kumanovo, Veles, Gevgelija, Skopje, Bitola, Demir Hisar, Resen and Strumica.

Around the square and in the underground garage in the center of Strumica, on April 24, Turkish children who were wearing shirts that are part of the propaganda material of VMRO-DPMNE, have walked and shared fliers. At the same time Roman children have walked through the city with SDSM shirts. Under aged children shared flyers with VMRO-DPMNE signs in Batinci and Kisela Voda.  This happened in many municipalities throughout Macedonia. In Ilino Mallo, Demir Hisar village, children were present at a polling station and cast eyes to the voting booths while others have voted. The presence of children with their parents in the voting booth on the election day became usual.

In two schools in Skopje, students were released from classes to take part in the rally of VMRO-DPMNE in Ohrid. In one school in Ohrid, they said that Daniel Kajmakovski will visit, while in another school the weaker students had been promised that their grades will be improved.

Biljana Jordanovska

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