Over six thousand police officers to secure the referendum

Security services have no indication of possible incidents during Sunday’s referendum. A peaceful referendum vote is expected, and just in case there are any kind of incidents, there will be numerous police forces on the field. If anything goes wrong, the special units of the Ministry of Interior will also be ready to take action. Authorities assure that the police will be up to the task in order to provide democratic voting ambience and free expression of the citizens’ will.

“According to the information so far, the security situation on the day of the referendum will be stable. We have no information about possible destabilization or violation of the election process. Aside from the political threats and accusations, we expect a peaceful referendum day,” sources from the security services say.

They inform that there will be on average two members of the Ministry of Interior in the polling stations, but depending on the assessment and the number of registered voters, that figure may increase or decrease. Considering that there are about 3,800 polling stations registered, more than six thousand policemen are expected to be engaged in the referendum. The members of the special units will also be waiting in the barracks. MoI official data on the number of security officers can not be obtained in any election because it is a security assessment of the services, that is, the coordinating headquarters within the Ministry, whose task is to organize and implement the public peace and order.

“The police are up to the task, the secrecy of the vote is guaranteed. According to the laws, any kind of pressure, threat or blackmail during voting process will be prevented and sanctioned in accordance with the laws. Any attempt to obstruct the exercise of the right to vote will be sanctioned,” Interior Minister Oliver Spasovski said, adding that the right to vote is inviolable and should not be violated by anyone.

“In the wake of the referendum, the atmosphere in the field regarding irregularities and criminal acts is peaceful, and the Prosecution hopes that it will remain so on Sunday, on the day of voting,” prosecutor Xhelal Bajrami said.
On the order of the Republic’s public prosecutor Ljubomir Joveski, a commission has been set up, which has been operating since the beginning of the campaign. Their task is to monitor possible violations of election and voting offenses. Members of the four higher public prosecutors offices and one from the BPPO Skopje participate in the commission, covering the whole territory.

“Charges have been given on the day of voting, besides the regular ones, there will be additional duty for the purpose of timely action if there are possibly criminal offenses. Communication has been established with all prosecutor’s offices and members of the Ministry of Interior who will be on the field,” Bajrami said.

The e-mail of the commission (referendum@jorm.gov.mk) is open and appeals to citizens, parties, non-governmental organizations, domestic and international institutions, as well as all who think that there are irregularities in organizing and conducting of the voting, to report them so that the prosecution can take measures.

On Sunday, at 19 o’clock, that is, just as the voting polls close, citizens announced a gathering before the Assembly, a group of citizens which will boycott the voting, whereupon the failure to meet the censuses in the referendum will be celebrated. Such a gathering was not reported as a legal duty at the MOI until recently. Estimates are that if the day passes in the best order, as envisaged, the number of protesters will not be high, nor the MOI expects any incidents.

Goran Adamovski