PRESS CENTER CIVIL’s first press release: Peaceful start of Election Day, minor irregularities noted
The first press conference of CIVIL – Center for Freedom about the course of the election process that was held at 10.00 am, started with the joke that Election Day has started with a timely opening of all party headquarters around the country, with some not having closed at all for some time now…
On behalf of CIVIL, Xhabir Deralla wished all citizens of the Republic of North Macedonia a calm and peaceful day, free, fair and democratic presidential elections.
At the very beginning, CIVIL summed up the main findings from the start of the election silence that entered into force on Friday at midnight, and will last until the closing of all the polling stations today at 7.00 pm.
A leader of a marginal political party, during election silence, calls for a boycott…An employee in the Macedonian Radio Television, employees in the administration and activists of political parties and many others are aggressively violating election silence. Violation of election silence is accompanied with hate speech and false news and is noted on the social media, especially on Facebook pages of certain formal and informal political groups.
From Friday midnight, when the election silence came into force, until the voting started at 7.00 am this morning, CIVIL has noted over 40 cases of violation of the election silence. Black campaign, hate speech and false news are strongly present also during the election silence.
Some of the internet portals are also not adhering to the election silence and are publishing manipulative contents and texts that contain the names of political parties and their presidential candidates.
CIVIL has repeatedly been calling on the political structures in the Republic of North Macedonia to respect the Electoral Code, and thus the election silence. Institutions are called upon to register these cases and to react accordingly to their legal competencies.
CIVIL’s observers inform that the polling stations opened on time, with the exception of one delay of 15 minutes. The State Election Commission announced that Polling Station 2344 in the school “Ramni Gaber”, Municipality of Studenicani, hadn’t opened at all.
At Polling station 2644/1, in the primary school “Petar Pop Arsov”, in the Municipality of Karpos, a voter tried to vote with an already marked finger, with the explanation that he had gotten smeared with the spray in the capacity of a member of an electoral board in another polling station. Nevertheless, the Electoral Board didn’t allow him to vote.
At the same polling station, there was incorrect writing that all citizens living on the street “Nikola Parapunov” vote at that polling station, while only those from the letter of M to the letter of Sh actually vote. The error was corrected on the spot – with a marker, but in the meantime, several voters were returned and did not vote.
At polling station 2119, in the primary school “Aleksandar Zdravkovski” in Jegunovce, promotional flyers of one of the candidates were put up on all the poles around the facility where the voting was taking place. At 9.40 am, it was noted that they had all been removed.
At polling station 1410 in the primary school “Kliment Ohridski” in Prilep, a voter wanted to vote publically at the table of the Electoral Board, but was prevented by the President of the Electoral Board.
At polling station 2280 and 2280/1 in primary school “Goce Delcev” in Stip, party observers without accreditations, spoke on their cell phones loudly in a manner that can be interpreted as agitation, that is, violation of the election silence.
At the same polling stations, the voting booth was not placed properly, namely, it could be seen who the voters were voting for. The error was corrected upon the indication of the observers. At the same polling station, the voting booth for persons with disabilities was placed in the corner of the room and was inaccessible.
At polling station 2280/1, a member of the Electoral Board was welcoming voters at the door of the room intended for voting.
CIVIL’s monitoring notes that one voter each in polling station 2826 in the primary school “Bitolski Kongress” in Cair, Skopje, in polling station 0085 in the primary school “Gjorgi Sugare” in Bitola, in polling station 2334 in the primary school “Todor Janev” in Caska, and three voters in polling station 0093 in the primary school “Koco Racin” in Kratovo could not find themselves in the Voters Register and could not exercise their constitutional right to vote.
At polling station 2691 in the primary school “Gjorgija Pulevski” in the Municipality of Aerodrom, the President of the Electoral Board photographed the authorization of CIVIL’s observer and demanded for her name and last name to also be on the authorization, beside CIVIL.
At polling station 2704 in the Municipality of Aerodrom, an observer from an accredited foreign organization behaved rudely with the members and the President of the Election commission, waving with the authorization on which with a marker North had been struck through of the name Macedonia, requesting to be told the number of ballots in the stack, although the voting had been in progress and was hindering the course of the voting.
A citizen of Miravci in the Municipality of Gevgelia, reported by phone to CIVIL that at 7.00 am, the headquarters of a political party was destroyed in the village and that she had also reported the case to the police.
At polling station 0576 in the primary school “Vanco Prke” in the Municipality of Delcevo, they had written in the minutes of the Electoral Board the master citizens number of an observer of CIVIL, and after she had indicated that it concerns personal data, they had struck through the number.
At polling station 0837 in the primary school “Ljupco Santov” in the Municipality of Kocani, a member of the Electoral Board was carrying out political conversations and was violating the election silence.
Polling station 2441 in the primary school “Emin Duraku” in Saraj, Skopje, was opened with a 15-minute delay.
At polling station 0110 in the local community “Kole Laceto” in Bitola, a member of the Electoral Board read out loud the name of the only voter in the voting room.
At polling station 2165 in the primary school “Sv Kiril and Metodij” in Veles, the President and member of the Electoral Board were not wearing badges, while voters were registered with “scribbles”. At the same polling station, a booth was not placed for persons with disabilities.
Polling station 1959, 1960 and 1963 in the Municipality of Tetovo, were transferred from the Red Cross building to the building of the nearest school – primary school “Goce Delcev”, and the change caused confusion and reaction among the citizens who had come to the place where they used to exercise their right to vote.
CIVIL Communication Team