In the first edition of “Election Report”, CIVIL wished all candidates a successful and dignified campaign, promoted the new video content and conveyed a series of remarks from independent candidates running for office in the local governments at the upcoming elections. “Election Report” will be broadcast live on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, starting at 11.00 am, from CIVIL’s press center. The article was prepared and led by Xhabir Deralla.
Today, at midnight, the official election campaign for the local elections that will be held on October 17 started. CIVIL wishes all candidates a successful and dignified campaign.
According to the data that was prepared by CIVIL’s Monitoring Team for this occasion, 297 candidates are running for mayors, of which 26 are independent. This is not the biggest number of independent candidates. The biggest number of independent candidates, 25%, was in 2005, while the percentage of independent candidates this year is almost three times lower – 8,75%.
BLACK AND PREMATURE CAMPAIGN WITH NATIONAL TOPICS
CIVIL concludes that a premature election campaign is being carried out. The campaign itself is full of disinformation and fake news, while current events and processes, among which also the tragedy that took place in Tetovo and the rescue of Afghan civilians, as well as the implementation of the census, are being abused in a political, that is, election context, usually with the purpose to discredit or slander political opponents.
The campaign is carried out in a manner of a merciless battle between enemies, and not as a competition between political opponents who with their messages and programs are trying to win the trust of the citizens.
At the same time, topics of national character are noticed to be dominating, while some political parties are neglecting local topics and issues which, local elections actually refer to.
POLITICAL ABUSE OF CHILDREN AND HATE SPEECH
CIVIL’s monitoring notes several cases of using children in a political campaign, which is contrary to the Law on Protection of Children and good election practices. Cases of political abuse of children by SDSM, VMRO-DPMNE, DUI and the Alliance for Albanians have already been published.
- VMRO-DPMNE candidate for Mayor of Kisela Voda with abuse of children in an election campaign
- Abuse of children and state resources in a (pre)election campaign
In the past six weeks, the monitoring of social networks notes about 1,000 cases of hate speech that have an election context, that is, their party background is recognized.
IF IT IS ACCORDING TO THE LAW, IT DOES NOT MEAN IT IS ETHICALLY CORRECT
At the beginning of the official election campaign, CIVIL calls on all political parties to adhere to the Electoral Code and good election practices. The Electoral Code has many weaknesses and what is allowed by law is not always ethically correct.
CIVIL calls on all citizens to report election irregularities, pressure and threats, corruption and not to succumb to disinformation and hate speech.
REMARKS FROM INDEPENDENT CANDIDATES
Some independent candidates, in communication with CIVIL, have expressed numerous remarks REGARDING their position in the election process. Today, we will quote only three of the many remarks made so far.
1) The independent candidates in the local elections do not have space for marketing and debate in the media.
2) There are no possibilities for using billboards at frequent places in the municipalities. Only the big political parties enjoy that privilege.
3) Independent candidates consider that they are marginalized in terms of defining the number that is circled in the ballot.
CIVIL has been noting this situation for years and part of the recommendations that have been made so far to the institutions and political parties refer to the demands for smaller political parties and independent participants in the election processes to be given more space and fair opportunities.
WE VOTE – ARTISTIC VIDEO ON VOTING AWARENESS
On September 26, CIVIL published the video We Vote. It is an attractive, artistic video dedicated to voting awareness. This interesting video is a result of the cooperation between the organizations Lokomotiva – Center for New Initiative in Arts and Culture and CIVIL.
SHORT LEGS – SHOW FOR EXPOSING DISINFORMATION
CIVIL is enriching its production of media content on disinformation and hate speech with the online video show “Short legs”. The first episode was published on September 24 and had an exceptionally high prominence. The next edition can be expected tomorrow already.
CIVIL appeals to all political parties and structures to avoid being part of the Short Legs show, and certainly also from the section Disinformation and Hate Speech on CIVIL’s media platform.
DEBATES AND INTERVIEWS WITH CANDIDATES
CIVIL is organizing debates and interviews with candidates for mayors in several municipalities across the country.
Today on the program of CIVIL MEDIA you can follow the debate between three candidates for Mayor of Shuto Orizari, whereas from tomorrow you will be able to follow the debate between two candidates in Gevgelia.
We must outline that some of the candidates cancel their participation in our debates at the last moment
We encourage all to accept our invitations, because our media platform is open to all equally, for all political parties, as well as for all independent candidates.
Downloading of this content is allowed and welcome. Short version of the video:
Translation: N. Cvetkovska
This post is also available in: Macedonian