Ninth day and ninth edition of CIVIL’s “Election Report” that includes topics about the fall of Facebook and the reaction of the leader of Levica, about the fourth violent incident in the campaign, the political abuse of children, the recommendations on protection against COVID-19, the fingerprint devices and the selection of CIVIL’s election observers.
THE FALL OF FACEBOOK AND THE LEADER OF LEVICA
Yesterday was marked by the outage of the Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp social networks and platforms.
Citizens had the opportunity for at least several hours to rest from the intensive campaigning activities and content of political parties, as well as from their mutual quarrels.
Some of the opposition parties, among which also the leader of Levica, used this event to again spread disinformation that the Facebook outage had been due to a supposed censorship by NGOs from the country. Certainly, this is not true, because the fall of the platforms was global. The disinformation was followed by comments in which hate speech could be noted, as well as calls for banning several organizations, among which CIVIL as well.
FOURTH VIOLENT INCIDENT
Yesterday, the MoI informed about an attempt for physical assault with a metal object against the Mayor of Lozovo, Aco Velkovski, by a resident of the village of Karatmanovo, which took place on October 2, 2021. According to the MoI, measures are being taken for clearing up the case.
Following the bomb in the yard of SDSM candidate for council member list in Shuto Orizari, the fighting and destroying of advertising material in Cashka and the shooting in front of the DUI election headquarters, this is the fourth incident with violence in the election campaign.
CIVIL appeals to the political parties and their supporters, as well as to the appropriate institutions, to take urgent measures for preventing violence in the election process.
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PROTECTION AGAINST COVID-19
At the outdoor rallies of the parties within the election campaign, although there is no official recommendation for wearing masks, it is desirable to wear one, but to also create conditions for requiring a vaccination certificate, said yesterday Minister of Health Venko Filipce.
The recommendations for wearing masks outdoors remains, added Filipce. On Election Day, stressed Minister Filipce, there are protocols that were applied at the previous election as well.
CIVIL’s monitoring notes cases of non-compliance to the protocols and recommendations for protection against COVID-19 at almost all rallies of almost all political parties.
POLITICAL ABUSE OF CHILDREN
The political abuse of children continues in the campaigning activities of the political parties. Yesterday, CIVIL’s monitoring team noted one more case of children attending a sports activity of DUI, in which children participated in addition to senior party officials and candidates in the elections.
Abuse of children in political and election campaigns is forbidden by the Law on Protection of Children.
REFUSING PUBLIC DEBATE
VMRO-DPMNE candidates are refusing media confrontation with their opponents.
А1on and Makfax reported that the candidate for mayor of Skopje supported by VMRO-DPMNE, Danela Arsovska, refused to attend a debate with her opponents that was organized by these media outlets.
VMRO-DPMNE’s candidate for mayor of Prilep, Borce Jovceski, refused pre-election confrontation with his opponents, which was broadcast yesterday on the First Program of the national service NTV (MTV).
DEBATES ARE ESSENTIALLY IMPORTANT FOR THE DEMOCRATIC CHARACTER OF ELECTIONS
These actions remind of Gruevski’s rule, when there were no media debates between the government and the opposition for almost an entire decade.
CIVIL reminds the political parties that the pre-election debates between candidates are a top benefit of democracy and an opportunity for citizens compare the arguments and programs of candidates. The lack of such debates decreases the opportunity for citizens to make an informed choice.
Therefore, CIVIL appeals to the candidates to participate in these debates and to enable the citizens the right to an informed choice, which is one of the basic principles for democratic elections. If party leaders Mickoski and Zaev can have media confrontations, why wouldn’t that apply for other party candidates?
FINGERPRINT DEVICES AND RESPONSIBILITY
The SEC yesterday received more than a thousand fingerprint identification terminals, and the entering of data from citizens has already started on the already received ones, stated yesterday SEC President Aleksandar Dashtevski, who attended the handover.
The agreed 4000 terminals are to arrive by the end of the week, which will be used for the first time at these local elections.
The President of the SEC said that the local elections will be well-organized, but that they cannot guarantee how the technical part with the application of the identification terminals will run, as this is taking place for the first time and there has been no pilot application.
SELECTION OF CIVIL’S ELECTION OBSERVERS
After the application process ended, now the selection of CIVIL’s short-term observers is in progress, who will observe the voting for the local elections on October 17.
All candidates will be informed whether their application has been accepted no later than tomorrow, October 6.
Information on how and where the trainings will be held will follow immediately after.
Xhabir Deralla, in cooperation with CIVIL’s Monitoring Team
Camera: Atanas Petrovski
Realization: Arian Mehmeti
CIVIL’s Election report is broadcast live, every day at 11:15 am
Translation: N. Cvetkovska
This post is also available in: Macedonian