Elections in FYR Macedonia will fail without further reforms
On Monday (18 January) the Parliament of FYR Macedonia dissolved itself, announcing early elections on 24 April. This happened in spite of the fact that two major preconditions for fair elections – an audit of the list of voters and media reform – have not yet been fulfilled. Despite repeated criticism from actors involved in the mediation process the Parliament proceeded with its dissolution. A temporary government has been in place in FYR Macedonia ever since PES associate party SDSM released evidence last year of widespread wiretapping on part of the government, revealing large scale corruption and interference with the justice system.
After the crisis erupted an agreement was brokered between SDSM and ruling VMRO-DPMNE (EPP member party) which outlined a number of reforms concerning media freedom and electoral laws to be completed before elections could take place.
‘The current political situation in FYR Macedonia is not conducive to free and fair elections’, said PES President Sergei Stanishev ‘We support our sister party SDSM in its calls for reforms. The creation of a democratic climate in which to hold elections has been their objective from the beginning. If we allow these elections to take place without any further reforms, all the previous negotiations will have been pointless.’
‘If FYR Macedonia wishes to come closer to the European Union, it needs to comply with European values’, PES President Sergei Stanishev continued, ‘VMRO-DPMNE should stop sabotaging the negotiations and start playing a constructive role in this reform process.’