The list of municipalities bringing decisions to hold referendums against the settling of supposed refugees and migrants on their territory is increasing. The citizens of Ohrid, Kavadarci, Bitola, Gevgelia and of the Skopje municipalities Aerodrom, Gazi Baba and Karpos, will be deciding at a referendum whether they are “for” or “against” the settling of refugees in their municipality, even though the Government has already announced several times that it has no intention at all of building camps or apartment buildings for refugees across Macedonia.
Despite the Government’s denials that there will be any settling of refugees/migrants, or building of apartments for them, the councils of these municipalities have not reconsidered about making a decision to hold referendums on the alleged settling of migrants, which are to be held on the very same day with the local elections on October 15.
Unfortunately, for the second week now, the State Election Commission is not responding to the questions of CIVIL Media on what it is planning to undertake in regards to the announcement of the referendums, and what the position of the SEC is in terms of the legal justification for conducting the referendums on the same day with the local elections.
Some of the pro-opposition media came out with claims that the members of the SEC had supposedly interpreted that there are no technical possibilities for holding the referendums on the same day with the local elections, claiming that for the implementation of local elections there has to be infrastructure and technical support and logistics, which also needs to be used for the implementation of the referendums.
Ahead of the local elections and the despair of the biggest opposition party VMRO-DPMNE is getting deeper, and in the absence of a real offer, just like in the last parliamentary elections in 2016, the party has decided to play the card of a black campaign against political opponents and manipulations and building of nationalism, through fabricated stories it continues to sell to its voters, all with the purpose of covering up the crime of the decade-long unaccountable ruling.
Leader Nikola Gruevski is even more fierce in the accusations, who, according to an opposition media, had stated: “We all sympathize with those migrants and we want to help them if they passing as transit through Macedonia, and they do not want to stay in Macedonia because they are looking for a country that is wealthier, which will offer them better conditions, but the intention of the Government, to flatter some, is to receive a large number of migrants. A number of over 100.000 people is speculated, therefore I fully understand the reaction of the citizens, and most of all I can understand the citizens not believing the only argument they are being told, that it is unrealistic”.
In addition to the warnings of experts that a referendum must not be held on the same day with the local elections, the possibility for manipulations of the ballots, which in this case would be even three, also need to be taken into consideration.
CIVIL – Center for Freedom has warned several times about the legal and political controversies of the referendums.
“The referendums are unlawful, but what is more worrying is their extremely dirty political dimension. The organizers are in an obvious connection with the most destructive elements of the Macedonian political scene and have a direct and unmistakable agenda, through xenophobia and Islamophobia, to bring tensions in the relations between the religious and ethnic communities in the country, as has been the case with all the previous election processes they have directed. Basically, Islamophobia and hatred are in general a dirty political trick of the opposition, which is constantly promoting extremism and violence, in order to create fear, which it skillfully abused afterwards. The Prime Minister, government and relevant institutions must not calculate with this dirty campaign and keep silent. A political point they will not lose now, will be a loss for the entire country in the near future” – stated Xhabir Deralla, CIVIL – Center for Freedom.
At the moment, in the transit camp “Vinojug” near Gevgelia where thousands of migrants used to pass, there are now only 13 refugees from the Middle East, who are waiting to go to Europe or to return home.
Despite this situation, VMRO-DPMNE continues to sow fear among the citizens about the supposed danger that Macedonia will be flooded with refugees, while the pro-opposition media are intimidating with headlines according to which buildings for refugees are to be built in 17 municipalities throughout Macedonia!