„The publication ‘Free elections: A non-negotiable condition‘ is impressive document of evidence what is wrong in this country. So many different levels of corruption, intimidation, and other wrong-doings combined with hate speech, defamation and slander is quite a negative achievement for a country of Macedonia’s size!“, said Helge Sander, distinguished Deputy Chief of Mission of the German Embassy, at today's closing ceremony of the project "Free elections for free citizens" where CIVIL - Center for freedom launched its publication „Free elections: A non-negotiable condition“.
I would like to convey the regards of Her Excellency Ambassador Dr. Althauser and her appreciation of the work done by CIVIL in the last months.
The project has come to an end, although the matter as such remains an important task.
Free elections for free citizens, something as you yourselves have said in the document, should be something completely normal and non-spectacular in a democratic society. However, I have to say I was impressed, shocked, full of disbelieve, and astonished about what I had to read in the brochure. It is an impressive document of evidence what is wrong in this country. So many different levels of corruption, intimidation, and other wrong-doings combined with hate speech, defamation and slander is quite a negative achievement for a country of Macedonia’s size!
If I say that it is what was to be expected by someone who has lived here for three years, I believe that is an understatement: What this publication brings to light is way beyond the regular expectations, at least of a foreigner like me.
Reading through the report it becomes abundantly clear that solutions to all societal problems cannot be found at the negotiation table between four political parties, however: Without such an agreement it seems very likely that the essence of much of the solutions will never be found: The Political will to make changes. Even with an agreement it will still be a long way o a society that functions like a normal pluralistic one, but the goal is worth every effort.
The report should be made a must-read for all those who have a sincere interest in Macedonia’s future which will only be a bright one once the diagnosed problems have been solved.
I would like to thank CIVIL for a once again extraordinary cooperation, for putting in all the effort to provide such a comprehensive and insightful report and look forward to further cooperating in the future.