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Statement of the Delegation of the EU in coordination with the US Embassy

Skopje

We just had a constructive meeting with Prime Minister Dimitriev, in which we reiterated our support for credible elections, and our commitment to offering continued technical and other assistance to help create conditions that will make such elections possible.

The Przino Agreement set April 24 as a date.  It also committed the signatories to structural reforms, including measures to provide greater media freedom, a revised voters’ list, and implementation of all OSCE/ODIHR recommendations to make free and fair elections possible.  Significant work remains to meet those conditions.  Before the dissolution of Parliament and no later than February 20, the European Union and the United States, in consultation with international and local experts, will jointly assess whether conditions are in place that would be conducive to holding credible elections on April 24.  In our meeting with the Prime Minister, we shared the criteria we will use.  We have also shared those criteria with party leaders who signed the Przino agreement and with whom we have been working closely for many months.  We will also make them available to the public.

We will offer our views as friends of the country, a country that we want to see flourish as a prosperous democracy within the Euro-Atlantic community.

In the end, however, it is up to the Parliament, the government, and your political leaders to make decisions. They are responsible for putting their nation back onto the Euro-Atlantic path.

We also reiterated that we encourage all parties, citizens, and organizations to participate in elections.  Such participation is the best way to strengthen democratic processes.

We also encourage party leaders to refrain from attacks on public officials whose job it is to create the conditions for credible elections;  they have a difficult job to do.  Such rhetoric is unhelpful and undermines faith that elections can take place under conditions conducive to their being broadly accepted as free and fair.

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