In the presence of over 60 representatives of political parties, citizens’ organisations, civil servants, police, local and state institutions , men and women, citizens of Kichevo; politicians spoke about the importance of the election process and their efforts for free and non-violent elections

In partnership with the Community Development Center Kichevo and the Forum Civil Peace Service Macedonia, as well as with the joint cooperation of the Albanian Women Association, Civil held a rally titled "Free and Non-violent Elections in Kichevo” on March 11, 2013.

Kicevo_20130311_2In the presence of over 60 representatives of political parties, citizens’ organisations, civil servants, police, local and state institutions, men and women citizens of Kichevo, speeches were given by the representatives of the host organisations of the event; Blagoja Despotovski, candidate for mayor  from VMRO-DPMNE; Kjamil Aliu, DUI's leader of the council-members list; Enver Saitoski of the Turkish Democratic Party, candidate for mayor of Municipality Plasnica; as well as DUI’s member Vjolca Mehmedi Nuredini, MP from Kichevo.

Despotovski expressed his Euro-Atlantic aspirations as a top priority, and furthermore, he laid an emphasis to the fact that practically everyone in Kichevo has relatives and friends abroad, and they all know well about the consequences of an eventual cancellation of the non-visa regime. He stated that the rally organised by Civil and its partners is crucial for democratization of the society. He called on "holding Nordic elections".

Saitoski, candidate for mayor said: "We have taken the liberty of treating people's votes as the merchandise we buy from the market." Moreover, he added, both the Criminal and the Electoral Code are not enforced, which is particularly indicative, having in mind that Saitoski is member of the police force, namely , he is the Chief of the Police Station in Plasnica.

Kicevo_20130311_1Aliu, the candidate for council-member criticized the decision of the Administrative Court for approving the joint lists of VMRO-DPMNE and SDSM for Kichevo and Struga and stressed that citizens have a democratic right to vote for whoever they want, and the politicians’ job is to work in their best interest. He did not miss the opportunity to commend the work of the candidate for mayor from DUI, Fatmir Behari who, he said, has promoted democratic values and has accomplished significant results in such an impoverished municipality with such scarce resources, as the municipality Oslomej.

Mehmira Nuredini, MP, underlined that her party, DUI, has been striving for fair and democratic elections from the very beginning. Her message was addressed to the citizens, to meet their citizens’ duty and to go out and cast their vote according to their own political affiliations and opinions.

In terms of the discussion, one can single out the opinions expressed by a professor and legal practitioner in the secondary school in Kichevo, who criticized the current mayor and candidate of VMRO-DPMNE for leaving the rally immediately after his address, because he wanted to ask the mayor what he has done to calm the ever-growing inter-ethnic tensions in the Municipality Kichevo. “People pay for stage plays. If the declarations of the political representatives today is sincere, I am all for it”, he concluded.

Facts related to the increased pressure exerted on smaller ethnic communities in the region were also noted in the discussion.

Albulena Karaga

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