Scandinavian, or at least decent European elections, would be the best recommendation not only for starting accession negotiations with the EU, but also the strongest evidence of the European affiliation and aspiration of North Macedonia in cultural, civilizational, political, economic and geographical terms. Credible presidential elections would best confirm the size and significance of the changes that liberated the captured state, the changes that removed all boundaries in the country’s ties with neighboring countries, and reach all aspects of society and increasingly in the awareness of the majority of citizens.
A fair political ending of the presidential race would be the greatest encouragement that we are on the right track with a firm determination to implement the reforms of the Brussels chapters and would remove all doubts, reservations and excuses from the growing fear of some EU members from the partnership and from European integration of North Macedonia. It sounds too utopian, with no solid argument. Right? So far such a miracle has never happened in our country. Yes, that’s right, except for one argument that is not used in campaigns, but hangs like a sword of Damocles. That is the fear of organizing election irregularities. The verdicts of long prison sentences for party strongmen and activists who participated in election frauds, who received sentences of over 20 years in prison, are still fresh. Fear keeps us sharp, not that the maximum sentences for violation of the election process are up to five years in prison, but the courts also started to prosecute for such serious crimes, which was considered a rarity. These sentences would have to be emphasized much more clearly in the public as a necessary rigor to the impediments to the future of the country and its citizens.
But fear alone, although highly preventive, is not enough to prevent the motives of the country’s strategic interests. Finally, it’s always possible to find several kabadahs and mercenaries to ruin the lives of millions of people. The compensation is irrelevant if they and their orderers receive five, ten, and even twenty years in prison, and North Macedonia remains in the Balkan waiting room to wait for the train without a timetable. They could be sentenced to life in prison; there will be no use of it in this crucial historic moment.
Indeed, whether this time, given the enormous significance, Scandinavian presidential elections are possible for the first time in the country after the declaration of independence. Bitter experiences say NO. In all previous presidential elections there were no European, or even Balkan manners of good behavior of presidential candidates and political parties. There was no fair competition, even when the winner was not in question. There were ugly images of filling and breaking ballot boxes, threats, so-called Bulgarian trains, and even use of firearms. We have never seen the participants in the election contest congratulate each other, and even less among the party leaders by accepting the credibility of the results. Accusations of fraud, and irregularities are often fierce, and appeals and lawsuits for re-voting are inevitable. The ratings of domestic and international observers were generally bad, with a bunch of irregularities, which never corrected and regularly repeated with new additions and criminogenic innovations. All of this does not give us the right to expect fair elections according to the Balkan standards, not to mention European or Scandinavian.
The second significant thing in these elections, which would catapult Macedonia into Europe if the elections are fair, is the defeat of VMRO-DPMNE and their presidential candidate Gordana Siljanovska-Davkova, who decided to join the wrong side of history from the first day of her bid. This party and its candidate did not propose a clear and specific offer for the country’s European future. In addition to demanding the punishment of the voters for the best political act since the country’s independence to date, these are the agreements with Greece and Bulgaria on good neighborly relations, as well as the moves for the functioning of the institutions of the system in the country, and elsewhere regarding the country’s strategic priorities are not said in a clear form from the VMRO-DPMNE candidate. On the contrary, all the achievements and the big turning point of the international and domestic scene of North Macedonia with the Prespa Agreement were problematized at rallies with aggressive and violent propaganda, with a primitive populist campaign for their revision and re-examination and with false representation as a threat to the identity of the Macedonians national and state interests. Both VMRO-DPMNE and its non-party candidate, Professor of constitutional law Siljanovska-Davkova defended the compromised leadership of the party top, behind the perpetrators of crime, corruption and violation of human rights and freedoms, behind the family that had ruled uncontrolled for more than a decade.
In such an environment, the call “Justice for Macedonia” looks like caricature, the main doctrine of Gordana Siljanovska and Hristijan Mickoski. Without acknowledging and apologizing for the abuses of criminal groups over a period of 11 years, there is no room for believing that the rule of law will prevail after the presidential elections. So far, we had a law professor, a connoisseur and a fortune teller of what is written in the Constitution. And we saw how the president of the state can contribute to the incitement of mutual hatred and the creation of tensions to the incursion into Parliament. Neither Gordana Siljanovska-Davkova, Hristijan Mickoski, nor any member of the immediate, new and old leadership of VMRO-DPMNE, demanded that the culprits, especially the organizers, are punished for their crimes. The constant rumbling about the rule of law, new constitutional changes and international arbitrations are utterly unconvincing, as the organizers of the so-called bloody Thursday in 2017 had to come to justice, not justifying it as a spontaneous patriotic act. They can not equalize in any criminal offense of this type of coup, in the case of senior state officials, a former prime minister and parliament speaker, a former interior minister and a police chief who did not intervene to prevent the bloodshed in a timely manner in which members of the secret police, MPs and party activists and supporters took part. The severity of the offense is different. What does Siljanovska-Davkova mean when she says is against selective justice and against a political parliamentary decision to enact a law on amnesty? Does she require the rule of law to be equal to everyone according to the gravity of the crime and the law, which is just, and then pass a law with a political decision on amnesty, or does she require freedom for all participants in the events on April 27, 2017. Obviously, in such a case, it would not be an obstacle to giving general amnesty, which is a far worse message of rule of law than the way in which the amnesty law was passed in Parliament that was rightfully condemned by the general public.
Siljanovska-Davkova tightened her campaign after publishing several polls, but especially after unpublished public opinion polls commissioned by VMRO-DPMNE. Following these findings, Siljanovska accepted the party’s suggestions and entered the big door in the most primitive form of populism by opening up painful issues from history, the Civil War in Greece, specifying what will be deleted from the pages of history, although she knows well what deleted and wiped out the Germans and the French after the two world wars, and millions of dead on both sides. No one can erase historical facts, but hatred and the poisoning of children with it can, and should be erased. They can and should erase ideology and forgery from science.
Gordana Siljanovska-Davkova will soon learn, if she doesn’t already know, that those who at the very beginning of her political engagement as a minister at the end of the 20th century, dressed her in a VMRO dress according to her determination, will be the ones who will let her down the drain as collateral damage with the greatest of ease. There is no evolution in the past. It is going backwards. It’s a waste, both for her and for Macedonia.
Views expressed in this article are personal views of the author and do not represent the editorial policy of Nezavisen Vesnik