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Hahn: Elections are important, but just the beginning in resolving the crisis

meta_maliSKOPJE - Today, the European Commissioner for Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn, after meetings with representatives of the civil society, the Special Public Prosecutor’s Office and the leaders of the four political parties, he assessed that there is progress, both in the atmosphere among everyone involved, and in the purification process of the electoral list, also, in the functioning of the media and ad-hoc body for monitoring the media.

Johannes Hahn, Member of the EC in charge of European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations gives a press point in Skopje on 14 October 2016.

He noted that the elections are very important and are the cornerstone for European integration of the country. However, he said that the urgent reform priorities must be implemented and the recommendations from the Priebe report.

“It is important that the elections are conducted well, then no one can criticize them. The elections will be observed by numerous international organizations. You cannot just have dedication for reform, dates have to be organized for their implementation and enforcement or non-enforcement”, said Hahn, adding that the two-year political crisis had badly affected the country and that there will be consequences.

The Commissioner said that talks with the leaders were constructive as it is very important to see how politicians behave and how they will act.

“It is important not to incite inter-ethnic tensions, especially during elections and to maintain cooperation, not only in government but in Parliament as well, this is where debates take place”, stated Hahn.

He also urged young people to exercise their right to vote and to decide their future, warning them that they did not want to end up like the British youth, after the Brexit referendum.

Regarding the SPO, Hahn said he had received assurances from all political parties, that they would support their work.

“Every part of the judicial system should work independently. I was reassured about the support for the SPO, but now we have to see results from their work, and also, the SPO can not be abused. This institution must be independent”, stated Hahn.

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