CIVIL demands restoring of the legal state in Republic of Macedonia. Democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights are inseparable and must be provided by the institutions who need to free themselves from the control of the political parties immediately and without and any postponing. The decision of the Administrative Court for an election rerun in polling station 2011 in Tearce shows that the institutions of justice are being encouraged and promise independent work and decision-making in accordance to the law. This is far from enough, but it is a good start.
The principles of a legal state must be respected by all, hence the election result and the decisions of the institutions as well, provided that the elections are free and the institutions independent. In any case, all relevant participants in the electoral race should file complaints and appeals if they are not satisfied with the election process.
CIVIL has presented to the public clear, unambiguous, detailed and direct observations, reports, analysis and recommendation. The extensive material from the election monitoring is published in Macedonian, Albanian and English on the websites of the organization, whereas the recommendations and findings have been sent to the State Election commission. Regardless of whether the SEC has responded to the numerous indications, it is important to know that CIVIL respects the institutions and is trying to provide constructive contribution to the situation. Unfortunately, there is still no response from the most relevant institution, but we feel obliged to leave an institutional trace that we have been fully consistent and persistent to participate in the process, according to the Constitution and the laws that allow for civil control of the democratic processes.
The election process in Republic of Macedonia was far from being “black-white”. A large number of serious irregularities were noted in over 650 reports of CIVILS observers on the day of the elections alone, December 11, not to mention the numerous reports from the long-term monitoring of the political processes in the electoral context and beyond.
During the past year, CIVIL informed the public and the institutions every day, in a very concrete and transparent manner, on all cases of violation of the right to vote, on the chaos in the Voters Register, on the serious abuses, pressures and manipulations. CIVIL demanded from the SEC to review the possibility for an election rerun in 30 polling stations, for a recount of all ballots and for a revision of all invalid ballots. Furthermore, CIVIL requested insight into the process of verifying the election material and further investigation for certain segments of the election process. Further investigations are needed in order for us to have a clear picture of what really happened and who is responsible for the problems that accompanied the entire political process, in which the leading political structures of the ruling parties and of the opposition committed to implement serious reforms.
Unfortunately, the State Election Commission did not use the competencies and the authority it was given according to the law, which have been the broadest since the beginning of this institution. The SEC failed to protect the integrity of this institution, it did not protect the election process and the right to vote in the controversial cases for which we clearly and specifically informed them on.
We demand from the institutions to conduct further investigations into the election irregularities for which we have informed the public and to send letters with indications to the SEC.
The will of the voters has to be fully respected! Therefore, regardless of the deadlines, we demand for CIVIL’s recommendations to be taken into consideration, and this involves a recount and a revision of the election material. Someone has to bear the responsibility!
The irregularities that have been noted by CIVIL’s observers are obviously a consequence of the long-term abuse of the system and the institutions, of the structural violence and widespread political corruption in the country. Therefore, we believe that there are more than enough arguments to extend the mandate of the Special Prosecutor’s office and also in terms of the fraudulent practices during the election process in 2016. The SPO has already arrived to remarkable results in this area and we consider that this proposal is more than justified.
We urge all actors in the election process to behave responsibly and in a dignified manner. Hate speech, stimulating ethnic and religious hatred and calling for violence to which we have been witnesses these days have to be condemned by the public, and also for the institutions to implement decisive sanctions against irresponsible politicians.