The country looks like a large square, in which in every corner, each of the 11 parties and coalitions participating in the early parliamentary elections scheduled for December 11 – after only six days, are promising far and wide a better future immediately following the day after...
Macedonia is at a boiling point! Citizens dissatisfied with the work of the government are attending protests almost every day. Around 700 workers from Jugohrom are reacting, because the Environmental Inspectorate decided to enforce laws against air pollution, before elections. Civil society organizations are demanding from the state to increase the budgets for combating HIV, but also to reduce the air pollution that is above normal levels in many cities throughout the country. In the largest union, the Federation of Trade Unions of Macedonia, there is a struggle for removing the leader Zivko Mitrevski, who expressed open support for the government, and on behalf, but without the consent, of all the branch unions. The health care system is facing a shortage of staff; doctors call for press-conferences. Government representatives are carrying out party activities during work time. Minister of Labor and Social Policy, Frosina Tasevska Remenski, with such accusations directly pointed out to her colleague, alternative Deputy-Minister from VMRO-DPMNE, Dime Spasov. Current alternative Minister of Interior, Oliver Andonov, on the other hand, submitted two complaints against Minister Oliver Spasovski and the coalition led by SDSM, for violation of the Electoral Code…
Federalization or confiscation!
The ruling VMRO-DPMNE and the coalition “For a Better Macedonia”, after 10 years of rule are promising new jobs and a fight against corruption. Former Prime Minister and leader of VMRO-DPMNE, Nikola Gruevski, is accusing his biggest opponent, opposition leader Zoran Zaev, that if he were to come to power, he would federalize the country and would introduce bilingualism.
Zaev, the leader of SDSM, which is leading the largest opposition coalition “For Life in Macedonia”, emphasized that he will not introduce “federalization and bilingualism, but rather confiscation of property and returning of the money back into the country” (money, which according to him, and representatives of some of the governments of Gruevski, they effectuated through commissions and various crimes), which will be his imperatives if he becomes prime minister of Macedonia.
In a time before elections, the “obstacles” in the work of the Special Prosecutor’s Office (SPO) continue, even though according to the Przino Agreement, and with the mediation of the international community, the SPO is established with the “amen” of the four relevant political parties of the Macedonian political scene: VMRO-DPMNE, SDSM, DUI and DPA. The Criminal Court for the second time rejected the SPO’s request for an order to be issued for searching the computer data stored in the servers, in regards to records from which the telephone numbers can be determined of those who were subject to surveillance within the telecommunication operator, which did not cooperate with the investigation in the wiretapping case. According to the Court, the SPO’s request is imprecise and unclear.
The Voters Register is closed, but not cleaned up!
The State Election Commission (SEC) closed the Voters Register, according to which in Macedonia there are 1,531,368 voters. The verification confirmed that there are 230,122 voters from Macedonia that are temporarily staying and working abroad, who will not vote, and 20,573 citizens who are also temporarily staying abroad, but will vote at these elections. This data speaks of the mass migration of citizens, and even reports of the World Bank and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) have noted estimations that around 300,000 people have moved out of Macedonia since 1998. However, unofficial estimates are that up to 447,000 people have moved out of the country, including those citizens who do not have formal residence permits, but have left in search for a better future in the past 10 years. The World Bank ranked Macedonia in the 23 place according to the rate of emigration, and this was in 2012.
The Voters Register is closed, but not cleaned up!
Citizens from a large number of municipalities in Macedonia are reporting the presence of “phantoms” to CIVIL – Center for Freedom, who complain that even after their reports made to the SEC, corrections have not been made in the Voters Register. Irregularities are being reported, abuse of state resources for electoral purposes, abuse of office, pressures on the administration, abuse of children for electoral purposes…CIVIL has reported zero tolerance for electoral abuses!
The Public Prosecutor’s Office of Macedonia announced that the Commission for monitoring election irregularities, with the task to act upon all events where there are indications that criminal acts have carried out in relation to the elections, has so far formed 42 cases.
The Vice-President of the SEC, Redzep Prekopuca, reported of being pressured and blackmailed by the chief editor of “Lajm”, Fejzi Hajdari. However, later he withdrew the accusations and the statement given in the Bitola police! Following the reaction sent to the editorial of the newspaper “Lajm”, vice-president of the SEC, Prekopuca explained that he had not received threats from the chief editor as it was stated in the police report.
The media, despite the monitoring of the AAVMS and the ad-hoc body, as regulatory bodies responsible for balanced coverage in the period of 100 days to the elections, have further continued with their current editorial polices. Most of the media remain to have a pro-government discourse even in times of elections.
According to all these events (even though a move can be noticed towards restoring democracy in society, especially from the perspective of reporting pressures, threats, blackmail and various abuses of office and state resources for party purposes) in Macedonia six days before elections, experts of CIVIL stress that not all conditions for fair and credible elections have been acquired.