The conditions for free elections are important, and not the date when they will be held – says political analyst Saso Ordanoski. In the statement made for CIVIL, he stressed that the approach of first setting the date of elections and then fulfilling the conditions for them to be carried out was completely wrong. He says that Gruevski has to leave, and then have the experts’ group of Reinhard Priebe come to Macedonia to scan the situation and assess whether the conditions for free elections have been fulfilled.
[youtube width=”600″ height=”400″]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z5mMk_CEQQQ[/youtube]CIVIL: Are conditions for free elections being created in Macedonia?
Ordanoski: Just like with any negotiation that needs to solve a major political crisis, the negotiations held last summer in Przino were also negotiations, which resulted with an agreement, in which there are two major problems. The first major problem is in terms of principles – as on one side was the negotiating team that practically contributed to the creation of this enormous crisis in Macedonia, in which there are many elements of crime, as we can now see through the activities of the Special Public Prosecutor’s Office and through the wiretapped conversations. So, one of the problems is – how do you compare with the people who participated in creating the problem in solving the problems, and have the problem solved by excluding them from the process, that is the problem.
Secondly, it was under these circumstances that the date for holding elections was determined, instead of having determined the goals that need to be achieved for having free elections. Now that we are almost at the end of the implementation of the Agreement, we can see the two major problems. The fact that the same team remains in power, which was supposed to contribute to implementing reforms in Macedonia for holding free elections, proved to be a factor that, in principle, contributed to not having those reforms, or not realizing them as they should have been. They were either not implemented sufficiently enough or without enough depth, or were implemented formally, only on paper, as we could see in previous years.
And, now this represents a major problem, as many significant unresolved issues remain to be solved in such short time, which are linked to the voter registers, the functioning of SEC, not to mention the media, the money of course, and everything that follows that.
We now come to a situation in which we are practically a few days away from the resignation of the Prime Minister, which is part of the agreement process. However, I think that all conditions are being created for the Prime Minister to leave, whereby, the unrealized changes that were supposed to follow through reforms in order to have free elections, will need more time. My proposal was, and I still believe that it is still a good proposal – that after the Prime Minister leaves and after we receive, let’s say, a technical government that will have to govern until the early elections are held, for us here, with the mediation of the European Union and the Americans, to have Priebe visit Macedonia again with his team, and make a total scan, an X-ray on whether we are capable of having fair and democratic elections. If their assessment is that we are not capable, then to have them indicate the issues that need further work in order to get to that point, and to have elections once we achieve those goals.
I think that that’s the situation in which we currently find ourselves in. Certainly, various political actors interpret this as a violation to the Przino Agreement, but yes, the Agreement has been violated in much more substantial parts, because we did not achieve the objectives anticipated with the Przino Agreement, in the sense of achieving the conditions, and I will even say that in several sectors and areas there are even regressions. On the one hand we have formalizing of the agreement, where certain targets are realized on paper. However, when you look into the essence, politically, the situation is even worse than it was before Przino.
Hence, the question is whether Macedonia wants to move forward in legitimizing, with forced, once again elections, in legitimizing a crime that has been going on for years, or does Macedonia want to arrive to a point, at which, when we do have elections that will be declared legal and legitimate, we will all then be able to agree that the results are as they should be after free elections
I am not quite sure that this suits the team that is still in power in Macedonia. On the contrary, I believe that their rush to have elections as soon as possible is practically just another effort to legitimize their way of governing, and that has been, as we can see, disastrous for years. But, I think that now the international community holds the focal point absolutely – they are guarantors of the Przino Agreement and I think that they have the position of the best distance from all of these things, in order to assess how far we have actually arrived, in terms of all the anticipated and unachievable issues.