Danielsson: Credible elections of key importance

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A credible electoral process is a key element for the country to return to the Euro-Atlantic path. I encourage all stakeholders and state institutions to support the work of the State Election Commission (SEC) in updating of the voters’ list. This will contribute to the return of citizens’ confidence in the process, said European Commission Director General for Enlargement Christian Danielsson on Tuesday.

danielson i dimitriev

During his visit to Macedonia, Danielsson met with political party leaders and caretaker PM Emil Dimitriev.

He said the postponement of the elections back in February provided more time for progress in this regard, adding much needs to be done in the coming period.

“Therefore, I urge all parties and state institutions to work together towards credible elections and an inclusive electoral process. A credible electoral process is a key element for you to return to the Euro-Atlantic path. I encourage all stakeholders and state institutions to support the work done by SEC in updating of the voters list. This will contribute to the return of citizens’ confidence in the process”, stressed Danielsson.

He also referred to the role of media in the electoral process.

“Media, especially national TV stations have a crucial role in the citizens’ decision on Election Day. Citizens need to have access to balanced reporting and difference of opinions. Therefore, I urge all those who signed the Charter by the Council of Media Ethics to respect and implement it. The initial signals of self-criticism, i.e. balanced reporting have been noted, and this needs to be monitored”, said Danielsson.

He voiced concern over reports of voter intimidation, saying political parties have to prevent this, while the state needs to sanction such actions.

“Citizens also have the responsibility to report any type of intimidation to the authorities”, added Danielsson.

The EC official saluted the launch of the OSCE monitoring mission, which would give the general assessment of the elections, whereas the international community would continue to follow the preparation and the administering of the elections.

“We will not hesitate to speak if there are certain concerns”, said Danielsson.

According to him, the Special Public Prosecutor’s Office is also a significant element of the Przino Agreement, expressing concern over reported obstructions in its work.

“We note that the ones who explicitly agreed over the establishment of the SPO should refrain from attacks and fully support its role and independence. Elections are just one part of the story. The Commission insists that the political dialogue and the urgent reform priorities involving the systematic rule of law should be implemented prior, during and after the elections. Political leaders have the responsibility to undertake the required measures in order to bring the country back on the Euro-Atlantic path. This is in the interest of the country and its citizens, and the EC remains committed to supporting the country in the implementation of reforms that bring the country back on the EU path”, underlined Danielsson.

Later in the day, the EC official is scheduled to meet with ambassadors of EU member-states in Macedonia.