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DAILY BRIEF April 4: Hopes, more intensive election campaign and hate speech…

Zbogar hopes that an agreement will be reached on the SPO

Samuel Zbogar, Head of the European Union Delegation in the county, at the lecturing held at the Faculty of Security, Skopje, said that he hopes that in June at the meeting of the Council of the EU it will be decided for the negotiations to start for North Macedonia, informs MIA.

“From a country that was in political turmoil, now there is a functional democracy, functional Parliament with an opposition that is engaging in the reform processes, reforms in the judiciary, so we are seeing progress. Certainly, many more things can be done until June, and we are hoping to see your achievements and see what will happen then”, said Zbogar.

For Zbogar, the greatest challenge that the EU is facing now is the emergence of nationalism and the anti-EU movements.

“The greatest challenge is for citizens to assure themselves that an integrated Europe is not a threat to the national sovereignty. This has particularly become noticeable after the immigration crisis. With

this challenge we realize that the European Union cannot be taken for granted – said Zbogar, adding that, hence, the great importance of the upcoming elections for the European Parliament”, he said.

Poland and Slovakia ratified the NATO Accession Protocol for North Macedonia

Poland and Slovakia today ratified the NATO Accession Protocol for our country, and thereby the number of countries who have approved North Macedonia joining the Alliance has climbed to 11.

“Today we received the two greatest congratulations from Poland and Slovakia. The Polish Parliament today voted on North Macedonia’s NATO Accession Protocol. The Slovakian Parliament also gave support with an enormous majority”, stated Radmila Sekerinska, Minister of Defense.

Several hours before that, on the other side of the ocean, from Washington, where a NATO ministerial meeting is being held, several messages were sent for North Macedonia’s membership in the Alliance. US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, welcomed the recent enlargement of the Alliance with the 30th member state.

SEC: Vote by vote for the future

Through Twitter, Facebook and the new YouTube channel, the State Election Commission has started its educational program on the presidential elections for the voters. The educational video “Vote by vote” has the goal of informing citizens that they need to fight to realize their right to vote, to be heard and to decide for their own future.

“My vote is my right, responsibility and goal. With my vote, I decide. I have a voice, and so do you. Vote in order to be heard”, is the message of the SEC. The video is in Macedonian, with a sign language interpreter. There is still no video in Albanian or in the other languages that are spoken on the territory of our country.

The symbolism at the end of the video indicates: Circle for your future.

Announcement for violation of the election silence The Facebook page Republic of Macedonia, on May 4, the day before the second round of presidential elections, is organizing the “Mandate Revolution”, which, as it is written in the event published on the page, is due to the dissatisfaction of the citizens.

It is indicative that the “revolution” has been organized during the election silence.

The official organizers of the event are not indicated, but from the page itself and the contents of the call, it can easily be assumed in which party kitchen this propaganda material is being produced. The call can be interpreted only as political propaganda in the election context. Regardless of whether it is a call to vote for a certain presidential candidate or a kind of call for boycotting the presidential elections in the second round, this violation of the election silence ahead of time contains open hate speech both on ethnic grounds, by emphasizing the “Albanian politician” as the greatest danger to the Macedonian people, and on political grounds, emphasizing the “Macedonian politician” who, together with the “Albanian politician” represents a “threat”.

CIVIL – Center for Freedom calls on the Ministry of Interior and the State Election Commission, according to their legal competencies, to take measures to prevent violation of the election silence, which is more than obvious from this propaganda attack on the social networks.

A MOI employee is also spreading hate speech on Facebook

Recently, the attention of CIVIL’s observers was drawn also by the activity of an employee in the Macedonian police on the social networks, who is spreading hate speech on Facebook. It concerns Zoran Dimovski, who according to our sources works in the MOI. A while ago, in regards to a published text on a portal, titled “The Macedonians remained gypsy-Skopjanos at the parade in Athens” he had commented “Thanks to the gypsy Dimitrov”, making reference to the Minister of Interior, Nikola Dimitrov.

If one takes a look at this police officer’s profile, it can be noticed that a year ago his profile picture was in a VMRO frame, where it was written “Freedom or death”, with a dagger, knife and pistol. CIVIL considers that members of the police should not engage in spreading hate speech, party propaganda, and especially not when it includes also symbols that refer to violence. This undermines the sense of security and underestimates the institutions.

CIVIL – Center for Freedom, as an organization for human rights and freedoms, through an announcement, demanded from the institutions to take into account the legality, respect for human rights and freedoms, as well as the security of all citizens of the Republic of North Macedonia. CIVIL condemns hate speech and encouraging violence in any form, and expects from the Government and every ministry and institution at the local and national level, to deal with extremists in their structures. “Activists for human rights are not obliged to do the job of the institutions!” – is said in CIVIL’s announcement, as well as in the reaction of eminent human rights activists.

CIVILian activities

Chronicle

“The third day of the campaigning of the presidential candidates has continued with the same pace, the same is being repeated, only with changed words in the prepared speeches.

VMRO-DPMNE candidate Gordana Siljanovska – Davkovs, at yesterday’s rally in Kavadarci, stated in front of the citizens that she could have not achieved everything in life if she hadn’t been in Macedonia. She didn’t forget to mention that the situation in the country is so bad that the Government has forgotten to dress the Army and has left it barefooted, even though the situation in the country has always been the same.

“They forgot that our people are barefoot, they forgot that Jesus went barefoot…”, added Siljanovska, is said in “When Jesus went barefoot”.

Civic Lenses in the Skopje Bazaar

With music, short videos and slides with messages and photos, CIVIL’s team held a presentation on #CivicLenses.

The numerous people who passed by had the opportunity to see the materials of the citizen journalists, the achievements and influence they have in society and on the institutions.

More information about the project and the possibility to actively join the monitoring of the political processes in the country can be found on the Facebook page of Civic Lenses.

Like elections – like future

Conference for free, fair and democratic elections, April 10, Hotel Park Residence, 12.00 noon CIVIL – Center for Freedom is organizing a 120-minute conference titled “Like Elections – Like Future” where it will present its findings, analyses and recommendations for the upcoming presidential elections. The conference will be held on April 10, at Hotel Park Residence (behind the football stadium), starting at 12.00 noon.

Representatives of institutions, civil society, experts, media and the international community have been invited to the conference. CIVIL’s long-term monitoring has covered the situation and events related to the presidential elections, starting from their announcement on February 8th this year. CIVIL’s observers focused their attention on several important aspects of the election process, including hate speech, false news, the functioning of the institutions, the political financing and the respect for the Electoral Code and democratic standards.

А. Petrovska

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