On election night, when the results of the vote showed a dead heat between the two candidates supported by the government and the opposition, Professor Biljana Vankovska, who is a vigorous supporter of her colleague Gordana Siljanovska – Davkova, decided to confront the boycotts on the right-wing campus. According to her, the boycotters turned into fundamentalists, who offered us nothing but hate, envy, vanity, arrogance, and even primitivism.
“At the same place there was a strange and incredible crowd of people like Placho and Rosoklija, the likes of Karakamisheva and Mirka Velinovska, etc. The dirtiest campaign came from this campus, even when it was wrapped in a quasi-scientific (with impact factor) wafers,” Vankovska said.
She immediately received an answer from Tanja Karakamisheva, who, although is the head of the legal committee in VMRO-DPMNE and partner of the party’s leader Hristijan Mickoski in the leaders’ meetings before the name referendum, turned into a conspirator of abstinence in the presidential elections.
“The greatest enemy of VMRO-DPMNE in recent years is again in a destructive campaign of uncontrolled insults, fictional camps and films. The ‘Liberal’ just cannot learn the value of the individual. My VMRO, Macedonian and patriotic ideals do not make me a fundamentalist, on the contrary. What are your ideals, Biljana?” asked Karakamisheva.
In fact, the boycott in the hardline VMRO-DPMNE wing is marked as the second reason (the first is the Albanian votes that went to Pendarovski) that SDSM was not defeated in the first round. Although no one can say with certainty how many there are, and certain circles in the party are mentioning at least fifty thousand, that circle of people is tagged as extremely important for mobilizing before the second decisive round. For that reason, Siljanovska announced that she will talk with supporters of the “I Boycott” movement in order to convince them to vote for her on May 5th.
“Abstinence can be seen from multiple angles. First, it is a fact that it is far greater in the Albanian areas than in the Macedonian ones, and it is clear to us why. Because after the emergence of a civic-oriented, educated candidate such as Blerim Reka, Albanians, or the Albanian voters, already started disagreeing that their votes are used to serve for ethnic-party trade, they even opposed it. As for the second round, I think that there will be sufficient turnout, although. Of course, some of the citizens do not want to even think about coming out to vote because of the name: These are the ones from the ‘I Boycott’ movement, and the diaspora joined them. But I intend to openly talk to them, to explain t them that there is no goal of repeated boycotting, that the problem with the name can be legally settled within the institutions and I will call them to vote in the elections,” says Siljanovska.
Analyst Aleksandar Pandov, who has publicly advocated the boycott, now says he is ready to meet with Siljanovska and let her share her arguments why he should change his mind and vote in the elections.
“I am extremely happy that the government’s presidential candidate had a worse result than the one he had five years ago when he was competing as an opposition’s candidate during “Gruevski’s regime”. By the way, SDSM did not recognize those elections. But, knowing Zaev’s maneuvers, I have no doubt that he is prepared for all honest and dishonest methods only to achieve his goal in the second round. The leadership of VMRO-DPMNE must be aware of this and be careful not to be a used for reaching turnout. But if their assessment is that you should go to the maximum in the hope that Siljanovska will win – fine, I have no intention to hinder it. If Siljanovska asks for a meeting – no problem, let her say her arguments, but I cannot promise that I would come out to vote, says Aleksandar Pandov.
The arguments of the right-wing boycotters are that by voting in the presidential elections, they would give legality of the Prespa Agreement and the change of the country’s name. They believe that the change of the Constitution without the President’s signature is null and void, because they consider that it is necessary to boycott these, as well as all other subsequent elections in order not to provide sufficient turnout. Among them, there are those who are dissatisfied that the VMRO-DPMNE came out with a candidate who is not part of the party structures, especially taking into account that she was part of the Branko Crvenkovski evil government in the 1990s. In a company that advocates boycott, there are those who are dissatisfied with Mickoski’s leadership, or who are in any way discarded by the new leadership, so they try to help the party in achieving the worst result possible.
“Don’t forget that the right to vote is personal and secret. No one is allowed, no one has the right to question you whether you have voted, whether you have not voted, or if you did vote – for whom you voted. No one should hold you accountable, no one should harass you or force you to vote, or not vote. It’s your decision alone. If they are democratic, as the parties claim, they must respect your voter’s right,” noted Karakamisheva.