Campaign silence – the countdown begins

The initial, unofficial results of the vote in the referendum, on which citizens should vote ‘for’ or ‘against’ the question “Are you for NATO and EU membership by accepting the agreement between Macedonia and Greece” should be known Sunday evening. After midnight, the uncertainty should come to an end, and find out how the citizens answered this question.

The voting process and the announcement of the results will be conducted according to the Law on Referendum and the rules are almost the same as on Election Day. Polling stations open at 7 o’clock in the morning and close at 19 o’clock (7 pm).

The referendum is conducted by the State Election Commission (SEC), municipal election commissions and electoral boards.

The SEC has already scheduled press conferences on Sunday to inform about turnout and the process of voting. The first press conference is scheduled at 9.30 in the morning when the first information about the opening of the polling stations, the exit until 9 am and the course of the voting will be announced. After the first press conference, by 7 pm, four more press conferences will be held, while the initial results will be published electronically after 1 pm.

1,806,336 voters have the right to vote, which are registered in the Voters’ List, and the referendum will be conducted in 3,480 polling stations in 80 municipalities in the country.

The Election Board immediately summarizes the results of the voting at the polling station and compile a report, which together with the entire voting material, is submitted to the Municipal Election Commission within three hours, summarizing the result of the voting at the polling stations in its territory.

The Municipal Election Commission submits the report and the complete voting material to the State Election Commission within 12 hours of receiving from the Electoral Boards.

The SEC, however, after receipt of the reports and the entire voting material from the municipal election commissions within 24 hours, determines and publishes the result of the voting in a referendum at the state level. Then it prepares a report on the total number of citizens enrolled in the Voters’ List, the total number of citizens who voted, the total number of unused ballots, the number of invalid ballots, the number of citizens who voted “for”, those who voted “against” and, finally , the results of the referendum.

The result of the voting in the referendum is announced by the SEC in the Official Gazette within 15 days since the referendum.

Yesterday, the printing office Kiro Dandaro from Bitola started distributing the voting material for the referendum. Yesterday, the voting material was distributed with vehicles from “Makedonski Posti” and teams from the SEC, to the Municipal Election Commissions.

The ballots were printed in high quality and with 20 protections, without any possibility of copying. The complete material, posters, voter lists and reports were printed using high standards,” said Dragi Milosevski, director of AD printing house Kiro Dandaro – Bitola.

The referendum question was answered first by the members of the electoral boards that were supposed to travel to the Macedonian emigrants abroad. 104 members and deputy members have the right to vote, who will observe the referendum on Saturday in 33 diplomatic offices where 2.695 Macedonian citizens applied for voting in 33 diplomatic and consular missions.

Macedonian citizens will vote in Bern, Venice, Ljubljana, Vienna, Toronto, London, Bonn, The Hague, Berlin, Melbourne, Canberra, Brussels, Stockholm, Paris, Rome, Copenhagen, Washington DC, Detroit, Prague, Abu Dhabi, Belgrade, Podgorica, Ankara , Athens, Bucharest, Istanbul and Budapest.

Most voters applied for voting in Bern, Venice, Ljubljana and Vienna and Toronto. Only 10 citizens have applied for voting in Budapest, 13 in Istanbul, 14 in Bucharest and 15 in Athens.

Members of the Macedonian diaspora will vote on Saturday, along with ill and disabled people, prisoners and people under house arrest.

The public propaganda for Sunday’s referendum ends midnight tonight. Until then, all activities of the participants in the campaign should be completed.

A total of 83 foreign reporters will report on the referendum

A total of 83 foreign reporters have been accredited to report on Sunday’s referendum. Of accredited foreign media, the highest number of accredited reporters comes from Al Jazeera Balkans – 15 reporters, then Associated Press – 11, Alpha TV from Greece has three reporters, the Austrian public service has four, Antenna TV station, also three, other media have accredited one or two reporters. There will be journalists from Russia, Albania Croatia, Germany, Luxembourg, Slovakia, Belgium, Bulgaria etc.
The referendum will be monitored by about 12,000 domestic and 500 foreign observers. Most domestic observers that have been accredited come from the Association for Civic Policies and Initiatives, an association that appears for the first time, and the process will be monitored by a total of 5,574 observers. Then, they are followed by the Union of Citizens’ Associations, Macedonian Platform against Poverty, MOST, Civil, ie total of ten non-governmental organizations. The OSCE / ODIHR Election Observation Mission has accredited the most foreign observers, then the US Embassy in Macedonia, the Embassy of France, Kosovo, Turkey, Hungary, the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, Ukraine and Germany. There will be no party observers at the polling stations.

Frosina Fakova-Serafinovic