Stop the agony!

There are no conditions to conduct free elections in Republic of Macedonia!

Not only that the ruling parties do not contribute to creation of conditions for free elections, but they have also pulled the entire party-state machinery at their disposal in hindering the country’s democratization process.

By kidnapping and abuse of all of the institutions at national and local level, the government is working tirelessly on creating conditions for yet another rude manipulation of the electorate and an electoral fraud.

With continuous violations of the Agreement to overcome the political crisis, signed in Przino on June 2 and July 15, 2015, with incomplete, manipulative avoidance of the obligations undertaken with that agreement, and with massive abuse of the administration, media and public money - the government has so far succeeded in completely devaluating the political agreement and the early parliamentary elections. Contrary to the Constitution, the laws and the international law and standards, the government has been conducting structural violence, discrimination and violation of human rights for years.

Political corruption, intimidations and racketeering at all levels of society, have become a daily routine for the citizens of Republic of Macedonia.

The political elites in Macedonia have never let their tool for manipulation of interethnic and interreligious relations slip out of their hand. From the conflict of 2001 to the security crisis in Kumanovo as of May 9th, 2015, and leading up to the provocations in regards to the monuments, including the two-headed eagle in the Municipality of Cair, the ruling parties have excelled this tool for sowing hatred and divisions along ethnic and religious lines, especially in terms of defocusing the domestic and international public. It is too obvious that they are using the problems with the neighboring countries and the refugee crisis as another smoke screen and trump card in delaying the processes, that is, in blackmailing the international community. Through the abuse of interethnic and interreligious relations, the ruling parties want to turn the attention away from their irresponsible working policy, the crime, abuse of power, wasteful and irresponsible spending, and arrogant attitude towards the destiny of the future generations.

For years, the government has been leading a merciless battle against the political opponents, which they treat as mortal enemies. Amongst those on the government’s black list is also the international community, with paranoid accusations for conspiracy theories against Macedonia. Civil society organizations are being demonized as foreign spies and traitors. A systematic chase against critical citizens is being conducted, and by paralyzing the free thought and suffocating the media, the entire society is kept hostage.

By using the experiences of election observation from 2008 until now, as well as the observation of the consequences of the year long political crisis and lack of political dialogue in the country, CIVIL – Center for Freedom, is observing the socio-political situation.

In that context, CIVIL has been permanently observing the political process and the preparations for early parliamentary elections starting from January 2015, with its monitors allocated throughout the country.

With daily reporting on its findings, CIVIL has in several occasions alerted the domestic and international public of the abuses and the real reasons why conditions have still not been created for holding free elections in Republic of Macedonia.

CIVIL has demanded a resignation of the entire government, ten months ago, as the only logical ending to the political crisis, responsibility for the abuses and crimes for which there are indications in the wiretapped conversations revealed by the opposition, and after that to establish an expert-led interim government to carry out quick, but essential reforms.

That process implies the following: revision of the Voters register, changing the electoral system with which Macedonia would become one electoral unit, introducing open lists, clearing and improving the manner in which the Voters register is established and updated, an entire reform, professionalization and departization of the State Election Commission, reforms, departisation and professionalization of the Administrative Court, as a second and final instance in appealing procedures within the electoral processes, freeing the media, primarily the public broadcasting service MRTV (Macedonian Radio Television), along with the professionalization of the Agency for Audio and Audiovisual Media Services.

Finally, we would like to welcome the awakening of some civil society organizations, which have for quite some years seemed as if they were having problems with their vision, hearing and speech when voting rights were being crushed and when heavy electoral fraud took place. Events to which CIVIL testified. We thank them for that, because unwillingly they left CIVIL space for consequent and self-sacrificing work, thereby gaining great support and trust from the citizens.

It is due time, because of the many “real moments” that have been missed, to finally continue, with open senses, towards free elections, a healthy civil society and a democratic Macedonia.

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