Testimony of electoral bribery and political discrimination

A local official of VMRO-DPMNE, who is also an employee of a municipal administration, on the morning of April 27, 2014, was handing out money for bribing the residents of a village in that municipality to vote for the ruling party. Part of the bribed voters were supposed to bribe other voters.

A citizen claims this to be, whose identity we are protecting along with the identity of the official, in order to protect our source from further pressure and political discrimination to which this person has been subjected to for a long time.

Our source says he has confidence in the Special Prosecutor’s Office and is prepared to testify and reveal, as he claims, the truth about what was happening in the village on the day of the elections in 2014.

This farmer - milk producer claims he witnessed the act of election bribes being given. In his statement, he claims that he had observed the movements of that man, a prominent member of the ruling party from within this rural region, who had come to the village by car and started going from house to house, giving money in order to attract more voters.

[youtube width="600" height="400"]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s99DqSmomsA[/youtube]

In addition to this farmer, who decided to speak publicly, the case was also confirmed by other residents in the rural municipality.

CIVIL Media tried to personally contact this member of VMRO-DPMNE, employed in the municipal administration, who people claim was giving bribes on the day of the elections. But, he didn’t answer neither telephone calls, nor messages left on his mobile phone and Facebook profile, in which we clearly explained why we want to contact him. He did not answer to any message.

Contrary to the testimony of our source about the police pressures that followed after the conflict with the official from VMRO-DPMNE, the Sector for Internal Affairs from Bitola informed us that on the day of the elections – 27 April, 2014, there had been no problems reported and that the police had not intervened in any such case in that location.

“The police came and were looking for him throughout the village, and according to what we saw they were willing to arrest him. This is not the only case of pressure, problems and threats during elections. And it’s true that on Election Day the person with the initials N.N was giving money in order to win voters. We have been exposed to all kinds of pressure” stated another resident of the village.

We even contacted the regional office of the Ministry of Agriculture in order to get an answer on why this milk-producer did not receive the subsidy, like the rest of the other dairy farmers.

“He hasn’t submitted any documents so far. But, he can come here so that we can see where the problem is”, stated the officials from the regional office of the competent Ministry.

And when the dairy farmer went to give the numbers that serve as confirmation for the delivery of the subsidy documents for the past five years, the employees in the regional office, as he said, just fooled around with him.

“They told me ‘the manager is out on field work with the journalist’, and when I told him that I had been speaking to him until then, they said ‘well then if she doesn’t have it with her, then it’s in the drawer’. They laughed at me and left. But this isn’t the first time. I know they won’t give me the money, because I am a SDSM member and because I saw him, their member of VMRO-DPMNE, giving out money for the elections”, said our source whom the country owes around 2.500 euros, according to him.

He and some other fellow villagers hope and expect for justice to win and for the ‘terror’, as they say, of the authorities to stop.

Text and camera: Monika Taleska

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