Ten days prior to the referendum on the name, political parties are being trained in the technical monitoring of civilian voting. While the field players are running the campaign, the administrative part ends its obligations. Given that the referendum is not the same as elections (local, parliamentary or presidential), so legally they are prevented from attending the polling stations, the most important issue right now is how to directly attend the premises where they will vote and, more importantly, count ballot papers.
“All legal possibilities will be used”, was the identical answer that one can get from them.
Unofficially, major parties will “play the card’ called NGOs. The law does not provide restrictions on the presence of the civil sector, which is why political parties will send their own people to the NGOs, who will make sure there aren’t any violations in the voting process.
The dilemma is whether the referendum will have a turnout of over 903,000 voters in order to meet the censuses and simple constitutional changes in the Assembly, putting additional pressure on the observers. Opposition parties have already warned that it will be impossible to observe the election day primarily in the western part of Macedonia, where they expect a series of regularities. VMRO-DPMNE’s Secretary General Igor Janusev, has already publicly announced speculations about possible falsification of the referendum result by the ruling SDSM. He expressed hope that the citizens will not allow this, and they, as a political party, will be the first to stand in defense of the further destruction of the country.
But Janusev did not provide any evidence, so we asked the party where they got their information about a possible forgery of the results.
“We have information about movements of services from the Ministry of Interior with criminal structures in western Macedonia, then there are pressures on employees in the state administration and mobilization of criminal and street structures close to SDSM. In that context, certain mullahs from the Kumanovo and Tetovo regions agitate in their sermons. On the other hand, there is no reaction from the institutions and the non-governmental sector for numerous violations of the rights of the citizens. There is also abuse of children in the campaign, but we do not see the reaction of the Ombudsman”, VMRO-DPMNE reacts.
About three observers from the country and abroad are expected to take care of democracy on Sunday, September 30th.
“The OSCE/ODIHR observation mission will fully preserve its impartiality in observing the referendum. Engaged will be a team of 13 experts, 20 long-term observers and about 250 short-term observers to assess whether voting takes place in a democratic atmosphere and in full compliance with international obligations and standards and with national legislation”, the OSCE/ODIHR said monitored 17 election processes and one referendum in the country.
The Citizens Association MOST announced that about 1,500 observers will be involved in monitoring of the referendum on the entire territory of the Republic of Macedonia. Due to a comprehensive assessment of the course of the referendum, 80 long-term observers of MOST monitor the course of the campaign/propaganda and the work of the election bodies, and the early voting and the procedure for deciding on complaints will be also monitored.
“As with all electoral processes, the free hotline 080 080 080 will be enabled for citizens to report any irregularities related to the referendum”, MOST said.