BURST Referendum, a year later
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by: XHABIR DERALLA
Morning, September 30, 2018… A hallway in a school in a Skopje neighbourhood. Young people stand in front of the classroom doors with badges from the SEC – “Domestic observer”. An elder person approaches and asks where the voting is. A girl with a badge, accreditation from the SEC, turns around and yells: “Go ask Zaev”. The man, confused, continues. “Why don’t you croak, you….” – adds the girl with the accreditation for the monitoring of the Referendum. (from a published report of a CIVIL observer)
Let’s go back for a moment and see where we were before the Referendum for accepting the Prespa Agreement and where we are now. What are the facts related to the voting itself? Around a thirty political parties and a huge number of civic organizations and initiatives led a campaign FOR. On the other side was the I Boycott initiative, which was secretly supported by VMRO-DPMNE and Moscow, and indirectly also by the Greek nationalists. They were not an official side, they never registered anywhere, so to this day, we don’t know with how much money they entered the operation to prevent the Referendum. Fortunately, they wasted their money for nothing.
Just by reading the statistics alone, one can see how important this historic day was. Many, including myself, compared it to the Referendum for our country’s independence. What are the figures? At the very day of the voting, September 30, 2018, there were 12.897 observers on the ground, of which just 429 were from abroad. The World Macedonian Congress with 176 observers also registered as “foreigners”. It’s nothing new seeing a party structure at elections, whose task is to at least monitor the process. So, the Association for civic policies and initiatives appeared for “observing” the Referendum, with a fantastic number of 5.574 accredited observers. They appeared out of nowhere, without any financial construction data, without information about the association itself. They and Todor Petrov’s soldiers were, actually, agitators. There were also all kinds of leftist right-wingers and fascists, as if for conducting monitoring, while the purpose was known. They did everything they could to intimidate the voters, to misinform them and to manipulate them. We saw the entire darkness of the family’s regime at the day of the Referendum voting, it appeared with all its might.
However, 609.813 citizens voted FOR, and only 37.000 voted against the Macedonian future. The absurd propaganda is still lasting of the pro-putin radicals and disobediant soldiers of the Family (decimated in this period). The outcome was clear. People want to move forward. The interest of the boycotters was and still is the same – to bring the country backwards, to restore the captured country and the enslaved obedience towards the little dictator who is now enjoying himself in Budapest with the stolen money. That would have happened, and much worse if the referendum had been unsuccessful. What is certain is that we would’ve remained FYROM, an isolated, underestimated half-state, a nest of crime and violence. At this Referendum, as I wrote a year ago, on the one side was the dagger and the pistol, and the smile on the other. From this distance, we can add that on the one side were the “couriers” and “sputnik”, and on the other was the free thought.
Despite the propaganda against the Macedonian future, the proportions of which are monstrous, we see North Macedonia in a place that could not have been imagined in the past three decades. The entire progressive world is applauding our small country, which made a courageous and wise step forward that will serve as an example in history. The EU is opening its doors, and NATO already has. The perspectives are huge, certainly if we know how use the chances.
A year ago, the West defeated the East. We defeated the nationalists Mitsotakis and Mickoski (and their company) who were and still are on the same side. A major and important battle was won, in which the path to Macedonia’s future was secured. It wasn’t easy, just as it isn’t now as well. But we have taken a big burden off our shoulders.
New major challenges are ahead now. And again, everything depends on us. It all depends on whether we will defeat the darkness, the stupidity and the violence within ourselves. And it’s good to remind ourselves of this great event every year on September 30. The Referendum crowned a process that lasted less than a year, in order to solve a problem that no one had the courage to solve for three decades, which was started by Zoran Zaev and Alexis Tsipras, two modest, smiling, modern and bold politicians. Before the Referendum, there was a border of hatred, absurdity and intolerance, and now it’s a path of friendship.
Translation: Natasa Cvetkovska