Irregularities, pressures, tensions, manipulations, demographic interventions and other types of structural violence are a distinguishing feature of this electoral cycle in general, and yesterday’s rerun was no exception to this picture, especially during the rerun in the Municipality of Centar
At this occasion, we would like to draw the attention to the unscrupulous struggle for power in which the citizens’ dignity was trampled on. Once again, the structural violence and social injustice left a strong mark on the citizens living in poverty. The sick, disabled, unemployed, children and youths, social welfare beneficiaries and the poor – are those who were largely abused, blackmailed and manipulated and who bore the burden of the non-democratic actions of the power centres. A striking example of that can be found in the manipulation of citizens from Pustec, Albania, who were abused and exposed to all sorts of humiliations and public stigmatization.
The employees in the public administration were blackmailed and used for party purposes.
The electoral process in the Republic of Macedonia was also accompanied with serious institutional shortcomings, among others, at the State Election Commission and Administrative Court, which were caused by party and political pressures and ethnic interests, resulting in a failure to observe the rule of law.
Here you can see how yesterday’s elections went by according to the reports of Civil’s observers and the telephone calls received from citizens.
The largest number of irregularities and tensions occurred during the rerun in the Municipality of Centar in Skopje. Irregularities and pressures were also registered at the rerun in the Municipality of Struga and the second round of voting in the Municipality of Dolneni.
Civil notes that during the voting in Centar, once again there was a demographic intervention. As regards the citizens who came to vote from Pustec, Albania, this time that phenomenon was stepped up with “new voters” from Veles, Strumica, Kavadarci, as well as from the Municipalities of Aerodrom and Budel in Skopje. According to a phone call, among the “imported voters” there were also a number of Goranci from Kosovo, who allegedly came to vote in the Municipality of Centar in an organised manner.
There were also voters who did not have a place of birth in their personal documents, and instead of that “XXK” was written.
In the Municipality of Centar a series of “inventive” attempts to misinform the citizens were made aimed at preventing them from voting. Leaflets claiming that the rerun is on 28 April and letters with a forged signature were distributed in large numbers. During the voting, the same occurred in front of several polling stations, where party activists were persuading people that the voting does not take place on that day or claiming that was not their polling station in order to confuse the voters and to reduce the turnout.
According to Civil’s observers and the reports on our telephone hotlines, the elevators in several multi-storey buildings in the Municipality of Centar were not functioning or the doors on the top floor were deliberately getting stuck.
An increased police presence was seen in all municipalities where there was voting yesterday.
Television crews and journalists were prevented from doing their job. One female journalist was harassed and hit by a person at the polling station No. 2855 at the House of Builders (Dom na gradezhnici), of which Civil has a documented statement.
Organised transport and canvassing were also registered in Zhitoshe, Municipality of Dolneni, where there was a large police presence as well. In front of a polling station in the village of Debreshte, Municipality of Dolneni, a camera was fixed on a police vehicle, directed towards the entrance to the polling station.
Civil - Center for Freedom clearly and unequivocally writes its reports, based on an objective and long-term observation of the political situation in the country, and also of the electoral process. Therefore, we will not allow our findings and assessment of the electoral process to be abused by any entity, i.e. participant in these processes. In fact, here we must finally state loud and clear that many of the irregularities in this electoral process are generated precisely by those who have the mechanisms of the government institutions at their disposal, both on a central and local level.
The previous reports on yesterday’s Election Day are available at Civil’s web-page: www.civil.org.mk
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