IBNA Special Report
By IBNA’s correspondent in Skopje, Naser Pajaziti
A few minutes ago, ballot boxes and the process of double elections were closed in former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, the early parliamentary elections and the second round of the presidential elections.
But, immediately after the closure of the polling stations, the largest opposition party LSDM (Macedonian Social Democratic League) declared that it refuses to recognize the electoral results, due to “manipulations, frauds and irregularities”.
“LSDM and united opposition do not recognize the result of the parliamentary and presidential elections. Gruevski’s government doesn’t have the most elementary will to hold democratic elections. The party in power once again usurped the democratic right of the citizens, by exerting full control on voters. Nikola Gruevski and VMRO-DPMNE have abused with the entire state system for their own political interests”, declared leader of LSDM, Zoran Zaev.
The contrary was claimed by the State Election Commission (SEC). In its recent news conference, it declared that the electoral process was quiet and without any irregularities and incidents.
“The electoral process was held in a quiet and democratic atmosphere without any irregularities. We’re expecting the counting to start and to announce a part of unofficial results before midnight”, declared for IBNA the vice chairman of SEC, Subhi Jakupi.
He said that all 3480 polling stations in the country opened on time.
According to the data of SEC, the number of voters is expected to be 60% for the parliamentary elections and 50% for the presidential elections. This difference comes as a result of the fact that a part of the Albanian voters have not participated in the elections, following the call of the Albanian party BDI (Democratic Union for Integration) to boycott the run-off of the presidential elections.
Domestic organizations that monitored the elections announced today irregularities identified in several polling stations, but they were not as significant as to block the voting process.
“CIVIL” non government organization which has observed the elections declared that its observers on the field have observed irregularities such as purchase of votes, arrangement of voters and family voting.
“In several areas, especially among the Roma community, a person has voted for more persons with the justification that the voters were illiterate and do not know how to read or write. In several rural areas, a man has voted on behalf of several women of a family. Also, in several areas there have been party activists who have distributed party propaganda materials”, said for IBNA, the chairman of “Civil”, Djabir Derala.
These elections have been monitored by a large number of domestic and international observers. OSCE/ODIHR, which has the largest number of observers, will issue its preliminary evaluation tomorrow on the voting process.
Evaluations on the elections have also been given by the leaders of political parties and the two presidential candidates, George Ivanov from VMRO-DPMNE and Stevo Pendarovski from the Macedonian opposition.
VMRO-DPMNE presidential candidate, George Ivanov says that he’s expecting “normal, quiet and democratic elections like it suits to a European country, to the European Macedonia”.
“After the elections, I expect those who win the trust of the people to meet the promises that they made during this campaign, in order to be successful and have prosperity in all the country and for all the citizens”, declared Ivanov.
LSDM presidential nominee, Stevo Pendarovski said that he’s hoping for the elections to take place in a quiet atmosphere.
Earlier, he declared: “I sincerely hope that at least, the election day will go quietly like it should do in a European and democratic country”, said Pendarovski.
Current prime minister and leader of VMRO-DPMNE, Nikola Gruevski said that he also exerted his right of vote and that he’s expecting the country to benefit from these elections above all.
The head of the Albanian party Democratic Union for Integration (BDI), Ali Ahmeti said that he hopes and desires a good voting process and without problems.
“I expect these elections to be the best guideline for the Euro Atlantic future of the country and improve the cross ethnic situation in the country”, declared Ahmeti.
The head of BDI only voted for the parliamentary elections, as his party had decided not to back any presidential candidates.
The leader of the opposition party Albanian Democratic Party (PDSH), Menduh Thaci said that he’s expecting a normal and democratic process.
“I’m expecting a new government, a new hope and good things for Macedonia”, declared Thaci.
Before midnight, SEC is expected to announce the first results, while political parties will also announce their results, collected by their activists.
1,7 million people had the right to vote in the parliamentary and presidential elections and this is the first time that these elections are held at the same time.
IBNA will constantly report on the progress of the elections, turn out in the presidential and parliamentary elections and official results in real time. /ibna/
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