Fight against elections

Fight against elections
When party leaders sit at a joint table to negotiate the finesses of the new Electoral Code, which is being prepared, it will not be bad if a ban on calling early parliamentary elections is inserted in it, without having any good reason. In an atmosphere of latent elections in the country for years, regardless of whether election time is approaching, such a step could be a huge investment in the ongoing reforms. Otherwise, on the domestic political stage, cheap populism and idle clientelism will continue to dominate, which are not motivating factors for making moves that may be unpopular, but are necessary for the stabilization of the state.

Norway's optional legislation, for example, makes it impossible to hold extraordinary elections, but this in no way makes this country less democratic. Sweden, however, has not had early elections since the late fifties of the past century, which in no way makes it a less prosperous society. Therefore, in this respect, the Macedonian tradition, at least in the last decade, is typically Balkan, while the election cycles that are conducted almost every year are far from Scandinavian.

What was a precedent in Macedonia in 2008, became a practice in the years to come, so that four early parliamentary elections were held in a decade, or twice as many that they would have had to hold if the state functioned as a normal democracy. When you add the regular presidential and local elections to this, which were held simultaneously, it is no surprise that Macedonia, with 21 elections in 27 years pluralism, is among the "electoral record holders" on the European map. But only according to the number, and not according to the standards for conducting the elections and tabulating the results.

And what is most paradoxical, with each new election in the previous ten years, the absolutist role of the previous government strengthened, and the country set back on the road to the EU and NATO. As every new parliamentary composition elected with half a term has become increasingly less convincing and less recognizable than the previous and more faithful to the executive branch it needs to control...

And now in Macedonia it smells of early elections yet again. Eight months since the last elections for mayors and councilors, a year and a half after the last "duel" for parliamentary seats, and little less than a year before the election for a new president, the propaganda and campaign on the domestic political stage are becoming louder than the reality and the pragmatism. At a time when the country is gradually coming out of the tunnel of the great and several-years-long political crisis that arose around the wiretapping scandal, and in times of great expectations of the final closure of the long-standing name dispute and the unblocking of Euro-Atlantic perspectives, party leaders act as if there are in the boxing arena, and not on the political stage that cries for the stabilization and normalization of relations between the "leading actors", at least when it comes to the country's strategic priorities. Opposition rally in front of the government, calls by the opposition leader for quick election confrontation, "patriotic tents" in front of the Parliament, tribunes of the ruling party across the municipalities ... are not something that should be experienced as usual in a state that needs to function as a normal democracy. In such a state, dialogue and interplay between political subjects generally take place in and through the institutions, while protesting in the streets is reserved only for cases of major political shocks, and during the pre-election campaign - in the true sense of the word.

Therefore, if the debacle of Macedonia at the NATO summit in 2008 was the motive for announcing the first extraordinary parliamentary election, why a decade later - the expected breakthrough on the country at the upcoming NATO summit in Brussels - is not a motivation for a different precedent? That is to end the practice of permanent extraordinary elections that have been called in the past, without any special occasion or reason.

This time, the truth is that neither Hristijan Mickoski, although he is asking for them, does not want hasty early elections, while still adjusting to the helm of the party, which is now split into several factions, a party that ruled for 11 years in Macedonia, rule from which we still feel the consequences. An extraordinary vote does not even appeal to Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, if he really wants to implement the reforms he has announced.

Regarding the attitude towards the Macedonian voters, it is fair to once again give time and space of four years for, without the pressure of a constant campaign, to decide which political party deserves their trust. In addition, it is repulsive to constantly speak about elections in a state that cannot conduct a population consensus for nearly two decades, and in which political forces cannot agree on a new composition of the State Election Commission for more than half a year.

Aleksandra M. Mitevska


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