Ristevska Jordanova: To remove fear and pressure on voters!

CIVIL- Center for Freedom continues with the practice of being an open platform for views and analyses in regards to the socio-political processes in the electorate context.

CIVIL Media conducted a mini series of interviews with leading intellectuals, public figures in the social sphere and experts and analysts, from which a number of interesting and significant perspectives and analyses were received. They were all asked the same questions relating to the development of the negotiations for overcoming the political crisis, the obstructions and violations of the Przino Agreement, and the opportunities for creating the right conditions for free elections in April 2016.

These discussions are part of the activities of the Project “Free elections for free citizens”, supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Dr. Malinka Ristevska Jordanova, Director of the European Policy Institute (EPI) believes that the government has a structural advantage, acquired with the ten years of ruling and that it will be difficult to provide, not only ideal, but also close to ideal conditions for political opponents.

[youtube width="600" height="400"]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aES5_MZskZ0[/youtube]

CIVIL Media: How do you assess the political process in Macedonia in the context of the implementation of the agreement Przino?

RISTEVSKA JORDANOVA: The political process is delayed, with many obstacles and with many, even, intentional delays, but nevertheless it is taking place, and in same way the agreement is being implemented. So, in general we can say – yes, it is being implemented with significant flaws that can have serious impacts on the outcome of the agreement.

CIVIL Media: What are the most serious violations of the Przino Agreement?

RISTEVSKA JORDANOVA: The most serious violations are the delays in terms of the inquiry committees, they should have already had their reports. Furthermore, in relation to the appointment of ministers and deputy ministers. There were practically delays in everything, except in the return of the opposition in parliament. There are also delays in creating conditions for work of the Special Prosecutor, hence, there are delays in key points of the agreement. What is even more important is that nobody is paying attention to the key, urgent reform priorities, which also have a major influence in creating equal conditions for elections, which ultimately is the purpose of this agreement, and that is something that is followed so little.

Some of the violations are in regards to the key reform priorities, because practically, now it is not clear which of the urgent reforms and priorities are expected to be implemented until April, and which can wait, but it is neither visible nor clearly stated by the Government, nor, according to the expectations of the European Commission. So it remains a gray area.

Unfortunately, many urgent reform priorities are even falling behind, such as in the judiciary, where there is no progress on any of the points, on the contrary, there is a regress. In addition to the organized discussions, judges continue to be appointed, proposed without changing the conditions of appointment and determination, which was insisted in the key reform priorities. I say this only as an example. What is happening in regards to the media is also very important, because one of the key conditions for having equal conditions for fair elections - is the media. Therefore, the prolongation of an agreement - how the conditions on media presentation can be changed and in general, on media coverage before the election is a crucial breach of the agreement and it could have a serious impact.

The following point that I see as problematic is the pressure on the administration. And even though formally you cannot focus specifically on any of the points, still, in the key reform priorities there is an item on implementing the administration law... There is also an item dedicated to the transformation of temporary into permanent jobs, but on the contrary, that is not happening. Here, it is crucial to prevent pressure to be put on the administration, but it continues. This can be done through legislative measures, it is very difficult to prevent this pressure on the administration, it continues furthermore.

CIVIL Media: Can and how is it possible to create conditions for free elections in April 2016?

RISTEVSKA JORDANOVA: As much as we want to be optimistic, the Government has a structural advantage acquired with the 10-year ruling and it is quite difficult to provide not only ideal, but also close to ideal conditions for the competitors, the opponents within this space. What can be done is with a few key moves, as those in Przino, is to change the climate generally in Macedonia. To remove the fear and pressure on voters as much as possible. However, I say, for this it is crucial to have serious changes in the attitude of the media, to have a major change in the reporting, to prevent further control of the government over the media and to decrease the pressure on the administration.

Marija Tegovska

Camera Dehran Muratov

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