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OSCE/ODIHR: Post election period in Macedonia was tense and full of harsh rhetoric

meta_maliSKOPJE - The OSCE/ODIHR mission on Tuesday released their final report on the parliamentary elections held on December the 11th in Macedonia, which states that it is necessary to continue working on improving the legal framework, and also to take legal measures regarding the threats made against the ambassadors, Macedonian news agency Meta reports.

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Although the parties were generally able to campaign freely, it was recommended that the authorities and political parties need to take concrete steps to avoid pressure being put on employees in the public administration, political activists and others who attend such events or even when voting. Allegations of pressure should be thoroughly investigated”, says the OSCE/ODIHR.
The report noted objections regarding the work by the SEC and its internal organization, problems with the voter lists, and important deadlines being missed. The mission recommended that the Electoral Code would benefit from a complete review, in order to increase the transparency and efficiency of the SEC, to regularly control and update the electoral register, to quickly intervene in cases where people are not on the electoral register and to work on improving the independence of the media.
The report by OSCE/ODIHR, pointed out that the post-election period was marked a tension and harsh rhetoric, mainly from VMRO-DPMNE. In the report it stated that they are still not aware whether taken legal action has been taken concerning the threats made to ambassadors, and especially after the VMRO-DPMNE proclamation, which was read by their leader, Nikola Gruevski at the protest outside the State Election Commission (SEC) on December the 17th, 2016.
“The post-election period was marked by a tense atmosphere and harsh rhetoric, mainly by VMRO-DPMNE. After BESA and SDSM lodged complaints against the results in several polling stations, the VMRO-DPMNE called for protests in front of the SEC. On 17 December, the VMRO-DPMNE leader presented а party proclamation to the crowd, accusing the SEC and a number of resident ambassadors of electoral interference. The following day, obituaries of current and former representatives of the international diplomatic community in Skopje were published. The OSCE/ODIHR mission is not aware of any legal measures taken against these actions, ” said the report by the OSCE/ODIHR.
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