EU: Do not intimidate public officials who should be creating conditions for credible elections


The EU delegation at the OSCE Permanent Council in Vienna called on political parties in Macedonia to fully implement the Przhino Agreement.

“The European Union recalls the great importance it attaches to the full implementation of the 2 June 2015 political agreement and its 15 July 2015 Protocol (the “Przino agreement”) between the four main political parties in order to overcome the ongoing political crisis and address key challenges facing the country. We welcome the steps towards implementing the Przino agreement, for instance the appointment of the Special Prosecutor, changes to the government, amendment of the electoral code, decision regarding the State Election Commission, as well as the former Prime Minister’s resignation. However, a lot of significant work remains to be done, including in relation to the parliamentary inquiry and oversight committees.” It said in the statement, dated from February 4, but was released yesterday.

The document states that the signatories of the Przhino Agreement are obliged to implement the structural reforms, including those concerning the election, such as measures to provide greater media freedom, a revised voters’ list, and implementation of all OSCE/ODIHR recommendations.
Implementation of these reforms is necessary if conditions are in place conducive to holding credible elections on the 24th of April.

“The European Union, together with the United States, has reiterated the necessity of credible elections and set out a number of criteria it will use to assess their preparation.” Reads the statement.

The EU delegation at the OSCE Permanent Council in Vienna say that they have offered Macedonian institutions technical assistance and other assistance in creating conditions that will make credible elections possible.

“We encourage the interim government to swiftly implement structural reforms as set out in the Urgent Reform Priorities to which the four parties committed themselves. We urge all parties and state institutions to support the State Election Commission. We also stress that all political parties agreed to the appointment of the Special Prosecutor and now need to demonstrate constructive cooperation with her and her team, and to refrain from attacks on this independent body”, say the EU delegation.

In the statement it also calls on Parliament, the government, and the country’s political leaders to make the decisions required for returning their nation to its European path.

“We continue to encourage all parties, citizens, and civil society organisations to participate in credible elections and their monitoring, and to show the flexibility needed for the consensual approach which is the only way to deliver a sustainable resolution to the political crisis and long-term stability to the country. Such participation is the best way to strengthen democratic processes. Lastly, we call on party leaders to refrain from intimidation of 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 voters’ faith that the necessary conditions can indeed be established,” sates the document.

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