THIS IS HOW THE HIDDEN PART OF THE CAMPAIGN LOOKS LIKE

Full text of the address of VMRO People's Party spokesman Vane Cvetanov at the Conference of Civil, held on March 1, 2013 at Skopje's Fair, within the project "Free and Non-Violent Elections"

Vane Cvetanov, VMRO-NP

Dear participants at this conference, dear organisers and guests,

I will try, through my discussion, to give you some insights of how VMRO DPMNE organises the election campaign.

My right to speak about the methodology of campaign organisation and running by the ruling party comes from the fact that until 2010 I was member and officeholder of DPMNE. In 2006 I was the President of Municipal Election Headquarters of VMRO DPMNE, and in 2008 and 2009 I was among the members of the inner circle of Vlatko Gjorchev's team, responsible for the polling unit number 3. The same system works in all polling units, but I will use the PU No.3 to paint you the picture of the campaign trail in the part that is not visible to the public.

Vane Cvetanov, VMRO-NP speaks at Civil's conferenceSixty days before the election date, the operation motivation of the Activists kicks off and it lasts 10 days. During those 10 days all municipal committees are paid a visit and all unhappy party affiliates, members of municipal committees and most of all, activists at the polling stations. Then, one finds the weak spot of each and every unsatisfied affiliate, and depending on the individual, they are promised some personal benefit or they get subdued by intimidation, using the state institutions as an instrument. As a result of that, they all obtain the status loyal.

Fifty days before the polling day, the army of motivated soldiers starts receiving instructions. The first instruction is to carry out a door-to-door survey within 10 days. The objective is to prepare a current and realistic forecast for every polling station, every family and every voter.

Forty days before the polling day is the start of the operation securing votes. After a comparison of prior election results for each polling station, the number of secured votes necessary for the upcoming campaign and the final analysis results, one proceeds with plan-making of how to achieve the required result in each polling station. One drafts list of potential, but unsatisfied voters for each polling station and the operation motivation and guaranteeing of secured votes kicks off. Each potential voter is placed in special target group and one looks for his/her weak spots. This is the darkest part of the operation and it involves all state officeholders. Local managers of the Social Works Centers personally visit every family that receives social welfare allowance and threatens to cancel their social welfare allowance if they fail to vote for DPMNE. Local managers from the Ministry of Agriculture call or personally visit farmers threatening to take away the subsidies for the ones who fail to vote for DPMNE. Local police chiefs look for all persons fined for causing traffic accidents, or similar violations and promise to annul all traffic and other violations for each and every one who votes for DPMNE. Local PRO officers, market and labor inspectors make a call to most of the business people in the area to notify them about a list they will receive with disobedient employees, obliging them in the same time to persuade these employees to vote for DPMNE, even if that means threatening with layoffs. They threaten these business people that if they fail to follow the instructions, they will have to deal with all kind of inspectors after the elections.

The activity involving door-to-door survey is repeated again 30 days before the polling day in order to check the current situation.

In the cases where the job has not been done, or in other words, where the family or the voters have not been softened, one looks for another way to secure the votes through some of the above-mentioned methods, using the state institutions.

Twenty days before the polling day is the start of the operation getting financial loans from companies close to the ruling party. Most frequently, this takes the form of providing oil and processed materials for farmers' families, which is on average 200 EUR per family.

Three days before the elections, all debtors are approached with a proposal for debt clearing in exchange for their vote for DPMNE. At the very end, the agreement with the most destitute families is made rock solid by giving them money in the range of 10 to 100 EUR per vote.

Two days before the elections, DPMNE has got a table of secured votes with accuracy of 98%.

After all of the above-mentioned undemocratic and illegal operations, not even the entire OSCE organisation will be able to detect problems on the polling day, because the ruling party has managed, long before the elections, to ensure the required votes by use of rigid methods of intimidation, blackmails and votes buying.

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