The President of the SCPC, Biljana Ivanovska, at CIVIL’s presentation on the analysis and recommendations on the 2021 Local Elections, presented the work of the Commission during the election process.
“As you know, in accordance to our law, we are to follow the election process and the campaign, namely, the financing of the election campaign. For this purpose, the state commission had support from IFES and organized a competition to which 17 to 20 observers applied. We also have analysts who are currently working on analyzing the collected data. On the other hand, we organized ourselves well in monitoring the election accounts of political parties for who are the donors, and for that purpose we received access to bank accounts, on a daily basis, and we monitored every inflow on their accounts. We were electronically connected with the Employment Bureau, as well as the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy, in order to avoid the risk for some unemployed or socially endangered persons to find themselves on the list of donors, as we have actually witnessed in previous years. We are also cooperating with other institutions, such as the Financial Intelligence Office, which is monitoring the flow of money, and we will see what comes out of all that”, says Ivanovska.
According to Ivanovska, the SCPC notes that certain activities of political actors during the election process are made in accordance to the laws, but overlap with the time period of the election process, for which they consider that it has influence on the electorate.
“We also followed the behavior of elected and appointed persons from the aspect of whether provisions of the law are respected, that is, whether there are situations of abuse of state resources, offices, funds, vehicles and so on. We also updated the register of official vehicles of all institutions, received an updated register and monitored what is happening in the meanwhile. We had reports from organizers of political campaigns, opened cases upon our own initiative, and we also received reports from citizens, and we acted upon and completed all these reports and cases, and actually all activities that were implemented in this period, will be part of a separate report that we will submit to the Parliament of the Republic of North Macedonia.
What was it that marked this period…All the activities of the institutions were focused on the course of the pre-election period. In the sense of investment activities. The Electoral Code explicitly states that start of construction with budget funds is forbidden. All the plans for public procurements were timed so that they took place during the election process, everything was according to the law, and that influenced the electorate. We were witnesses of numerous announcements for employment that were posted a day before their start, or even in the same day, in the morning, as employment announcements, and immediately afterwards were put to rest, which we think had a big influence on the electorate, because in that way voters are obtained, through the potential people who think they will be employed.
There was even the use of funds from the TAV program, after concluded agreements with the local self – governments, agreements in which it was stated that the activities after those agreements will start after July 27, that is, the period that precisely overlaps with the election period.
There were no major violations of the Electoral Code, but, these occurrences that were lawful, we believe infringed the integrity of the entire electoral process, and lower the trust of the citizens, but, they also speak about the political culture here” Ivanovska pointed out.
Biljana Ivanovska – SCPC, at CIVIL’s presentation on the analyses and recommendations for the 2021 Local Elections / December 23, 2021
“I would like to note that only one minister called to consult on how he should act, and what his competencies are during the election process, and that was it”.
Ivanovska reflected on the ethical code of the politicians during the election process, in regards to executing and conducting campaigns and other official duties, during, and outside of, working hours, and she pointed out that in this respect, the politicians did not adhere to the Code.
At the end of her address, Ivanovska announced that the SCPC is preparing a detailed separate report, which will be submitted to the Parliament.
“Power is won, democracy is learned, and we have so much more to learn, and as Xhabir mentioned, there is a lack of honesty and conscience, those are the real words that we should fulfill, in order to learn democracy and have a democratic government” said Ivanovska at the end of her speech.
Text editing: Dijana Tahiri
Camera: Atanas Petrovski
Realization and editing: Arian Mehmeti
Photography: Goran Naumovski
Translation: N. Cvetkovska