The local elections were nonviolent, fair, democratic and free, no one mentions there were many “minor” irregularities that cast doubt over the convincing victory of DPMNE which is itself surprised by the number of citizens who chose to live in a single-party and totalitarian state.

Risto Popovski

electionsThe local elections, in theory, are always an indicator of the order of political forces in the country, the parties’ rating and a test of the central government’s successfulness.  It is an unwritten rule that at the local elections the ruling party or coalition loses some of the trust. The reason is the dissatisfaction with the manner in which the authority is exercised, but also the cautiousness of citizens who, by voting against, want to limit the power of the ruling party.

Each rule has an exception, and this is confirmed by the phenomenon that happened on Sunday at the local elections in Macedonia. No matter that in some places there will be a second round of voting and we should wait for the final results, the coalition of DPMNE won convincingly.  The leader, party's leadership and its most faithful supporters are proud with the success and even more with the fiasco – the catastrophic defeat of the opposition.

Euphorically celebrating the success, DPMNE boasted that it is surprised by the election victory which surpassed even their most optimistic forecasts. Indirectly it admitted that the party is aware of the real positions; that its rating is in a decline both locally and on a state level. The surprise of DPMNE is big, but even a bigger surprise is the citizens’ choice to live in a single-party state, to strengthen the authority that proved itself as totalitarian and undemocratic.

There have been such examples, not so long ago in our close neighbourhood, and this “phenomenon” is yet to be analysed. The initial assessment could show some of the “secrets” of the convincing victory of DPMNE. First of all, it is the result of a strong, semi-military, organised party which every day does whatever it can to increase and strengthen its power. An integral part of this is also the aggressive, well-thought-out and precisely planned campaign.

Both approaches have nothing illegitimate. On the contrary. They are disputable, however, the manner in which the authority is exercised, as well as the use of state resources and funds is impermissible. This is confirmed by the assessment of the nongovernmental organizations and foreign observers that there were many “minor” infringements and procedural irregularities at the elections. As a rule, they pass without sanctions and have become a usual electoral “folklore”.

The series of “minor” irregularities at the Election Day, when taken together, make one major irregularity. That contributed, but was not decisive, for the convincing victory of DPMNE. It was done much earlier, not only by daily government-party propaganda, but also elaborated with a well-tried method of direct pressures over the socially vulnerable and over all vulnerable categories of citizens. With that approach there are no surprises.

It is no secret that prior to any elections the votes of the employees in the public administration and of their families are “bought” with blackmails regarding the job. The promises of employment, also, bring certain votes. Furthermore, “by chance” the elections coincided with the payment of subsidies for the farmers, debts for VAT return, there was a planned increase in the pensions… These actions, as well as the election strategy, were supported by a strong and aggressive campaign of the media, which deviating from all norms, openly supported one party.

These “actions” of DPMNE were carried out, mainly before the campaign which with an unprecedented aggression and arrogance had two objectives: to conceal the truth about the devastating repercussions of single-party and totalitarian governance and to destroy the opposition. The latter was an easy target because with the boycott it was already tottering, unprepared and practically without a campaign... There was a surprising result in the municipality of “Centar” in Skopje where the citizens responded to the “actions” carried out through “Skopje 2014” by saying – no. From now on, the new mayor will not have an easy job dealing with the plans of the government.

The most important objective of the aggressive campaign was to divert the citizens’ attention from the problems in the state which are a consequence of the totalitarian governance – poverty, economic and social crisis, uncertain future of the country and of the citizens. Then, to “forget” the black Monday, the “democratic” use of force, the violation of the Constitution and laws…

These and other “actions” enable the exercise and strengthening of the single-party governance and totalitarian power. The majority in Macedonia, wittingly or under pressure, chose to live in such conditions, and DPMNE obtained a mandate to continue on the same track. Until some other elections.

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