The OSCE / ODIHR Mission to Skopje’s final report on the parliamentary elections scheduled for December 11 stated that regardless of official election campaign which began on November 21 and should end 24 hours before election day, most political parties had began to mobilize their electorate before this period, by organizing events and implementing campaigns from their headquarters.
The report states that the main messages of the campaign relates to the economy, employment, justice and the emigration of young people and that the pre-election atmosphere has been generally calm, with some isolated incidents noted.
A number of allegations of pressure on the public administration to support specific parties were reported to the OSCE/ODIHR
Regarding the media, the report expresses concern over widespread self-censorship resulting from political pressure on media, and cases of inflammatory language and verbal attacks on journalists, especially by government officials.
The report states that the essential media reforms foreseen in the Przino Agreement have yet to be agreed upon and that the amendments to the Electoral Code of 2016 in terms of the media are applicable only to the upcoming elections.
OSCE / ODIHR say elections will be monitored by international and civil observers.
“These elections will be observed by two prominent NGOs: MOST has 80 long-term observers and intends to deploy some 3,300 short-term observers and to conduct parallel vote tabulation; CIVIL has 35 long-term observers, 10 mobile teams, and intends to deploy 300 short-term observers”, said the report.