The State Election Commission (SEC) at today’s session gave 347 accreditations for observing the second round of the local elections. These include, among others, the addition of 221 observers from “Aksios 2017” and the addition of 125 observers from the “Association for Affirmation of Human Values and Youth Integration Mak Sonce”, informed Radio Free Europe in Macedonian. With this “Aksios” will have a total of around 800 observers.
CIVIL Media has already published two parts of a research on this organization, for which almost no public data can be found. The organization does not have a website, nor do they communicate with the public, and they don’t conduct public activities. There were no reports or announcements about their observation findings in the first round.
According to the Central Register data, the headquarters of this organization are in Hipodrom in Gazi Baba Municipality, and the goals of the organization are:
“Development and promotion of tourism, promotion and protection of cultural heritage, encouragement of cross-border cooperation, sustainable development, protection of the environment, promotion and protection of human rights and freedoms.”
Quite heterogeneous portfolio and areas of activity, but neither on the Internet nor in the media can be found anything about the activities of the organization in these areas.
Owner of the organization is Gjoko Stojchevski, and the authorized person is Dimitar Peovski, with an address identical to that of the organization. However, neither of these two names can be found any public data on activities in the indicated areas of action.
Let us remind you, CIVIL observers had an unpleasant experience with this organization in the previous elections in 2020, when, accoring to the report, an observer of AKSIOS 2017, then chairman of the municipal committee of VMRO-DPMNE in Sveti Nikole, told CIVIL and MOST observers that they should not be at the polling station because they were “partisan”.
It is also surprising that this organization, in addition to pre-election observation, publishes pre-election polls with a vague methodology, which is contrary to good practices for professional and impartial election citizen observation.
After the publication of the first part one of this research, there was an answer to the questions sent by CIVIL Media to this organization, published in the second part of the story, from the e-mail address listed by AKSIOS 2017 in the Central Register, and not from the one used in the public call for these elections.
After the publication of the first part of the research, there was an answer to the questions sent by CIVIL Media to this organization, published in the second part of the story, from the e-mail address listed by AKSIOS 2017 in the Central Register, and not from the one used in the public call for these elections. This confirms that the information of CIVIL Media about this organization was correct. We asked AKSIOS about the announced 800 observers, a rather large operation that requires significant funding. We asked who is financing the election observation of AKSIOS 2017, if and when the organization trained the observers who will be deployed at the polling stations during the elections? At the same time, we asked why they do not have a website and publicly available work data and whether they plan to open a website so that the public can get acquainted with them.
For the surveys, because there is no data available, we asked who are the managers and which researchers are engaged in preparing the methodology and processing the results, and because both announcements of the AKSIOS 2017 survey results lack data on the way the respondents were surveyed (field survey). , telephone survey, etc. we also asked about the methodology.
However, in the answer that arrived from AKSIOS 2017, most of the questions were not answered, but what this organization delivered to the public as part of several announcements was repeated.
“The civil society organization AKSIOS 2017 Skopje will observe the upcoming local elections with approximately 500 volunteer observers who voluntarily applied for the public call published on 16.09.2021 on the Facebook page “COME OUT TO VOTE”.
These are generally experienced observers who have been part of our observation mission in several election cycles. This time, no classical training was organized due to the current Covid crisis, but they were provided with the latest brochures and instructions from the State Election Commission.
The civil society organization AKSIOS 2017 Skopje, in the past period informed the media about all current and planned activities, and will continue with regular communication with them and all activities will be timely and regularly informed to the public”, said in the response of AKSIOS 2017 to CIVIL Media on October 15, 2021.
The answer does not answer the questions about who finances the election observation of AKSIOS 2017 and why there is no data on their work on the Internet, which is a legal obligation for every civil society organization. We did not receive an answer either about the leaders and researchers of the organization, or about the methodology of the survey. The organization in its response admits that it did not train election observers.
Let us remind you, the practice of the civil society organizations that have been monitoring this process for years is completely different. Zlatko Dimitrioski from the Association MOST pointed out that the transparency and accountability of the monitoring organizations in terms of activities and funding is especially important.
“Of course, regular and accurate information on the findings, as well as submission of transparent information to the project supporters,” Dimitriovski told CIVIL Media.
800 untrained observers of a phantom organization, without public data, will observe the elections on October 31. This time, the SEC decided that all observers should receive ID cards that do not have names and surnames. What is the purpose of these observation “reinforcements” will be seen on election day.