The observers of Civil come across different stories during their work. These are not only related to irregularities, abuses or pressures… Often they are more than just statistics; they are real life stories, intertwined with the elections and political parties, with the people who often shape the destinies of entire families, and people.
Below is one of those stories:
On the eve of the second round of the presidential elections and the snap parliamentary elections, the team of Civil visited the city of Kumanovo and its vicinity.
We paid a visit to a small village in the sticks, forgotten by everybody. Houses old, almost dilapidated. We decided to visit one random family. We knocked on one of the doors and met a four-member family. A fifty-year old man opened the door and welcomed us with a genuine smile. Soon enough, just as we started discussing the elections, his expression changed. He became enraged. He started telling us about his experience as a member of the Democratic Party of the Serbs in Macedonia (DPSM). He had been member of this party for 20 years, but gave up his membership in the party during these elections.
“At the time of the war in Serbia, I went there and helped people with food, I brought clothes for them, organized people to go to Vranje to donate blood; I worked constantly and I was canvassing for the party. At the end, when I asked them for help, they turned me down” – he told us, vividly infuriated.
This political party also promised to employ his wife, but they never called her. He works in a pipe-manufacturing company, but has not received his salary since October, and his bank account is blocked. He has two children who go to school and he barely manages to provide for them.
At these elections, another political party knocked on his door, but he didn’t want to hear what they had to say.
“Activists of the governing VMRO-DPMNE came to my door and brought promotional materials – I burned all of them. They gave me a pen and a lighter too, I threw them as well. They promised to do everything I needed, but I no longer believe in any political party”. From prior experience, he says, he knows that political parties are only engaged before the elections, but afterwards, they forget all about the promises they gave during the campaign.”