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News and Events

01 April 2019

Skopje

PRESS RELEASE IN PRESENTATION OF PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS AND EARLY ELECTIONS FOR MAYORS OF THREE MUNICIPALITIES

The Ombudsman, on the eve of the presidential elections and the early elections for mayors of the municipalities of Ohrid, Debar and Novo Selo, reminds the citizens about the importance of the right to vote and the way of exercising and protecting this right, and urges the institutions and all others the obligation and the responsibility to create realistic conditions for enabling, respecting and exercising the citizens' right to vote, as well as the rules for fair and democratic elections.

Everyone has the right to declare his option without suffering any consequences. Citizens are the ones who decide. No one should be on their behalf, through various forms of pressure, blackmail and threats to decide. Citizens should not be silent; on the contrary, they must be active, because by timely reporting irregularities of any kind they protect their right while at the same time contributing to the democratic process of the election process as a whole.
The Ombudsman, a special appeal, directs all those who are in managerial positions in the institutions and other persons in the public administration, not to dare in any way to intimidate and press on the employees, and act responsibly. Otherwise, such behavior is unacceptable and subject to criminal liability. In this regard, the Ombudsman encourages all the employees in the administration and all other persons, without hesitation and fear, to inform the competent institutions and the Ombudsman about such actions, which without exception will guarantee the secrecy of the data.

This also applies to all other employers who, among other things, should determine their working hours on the election day, which will enable them to exercise the right to vote without using threats and other forms of conditioning.

In anticipation of the campaign, the Ombudsman invites all stakeholders in the election process, as well as parents, for the necessary need to protect the children and not involve them in political and election campaigns in order to respect the principle of the best interest of the child. Also, the media should, in particular, keep an eye out and not show footages, campaigns, and so on where children are involved, in order to protect children from political and ideological manipulations.

At the same time, the Ombudsman recalls that the media play a key role in the protection of the right to vote. Hence, the way in which they transmit information is of particular importance. Therefore, objective, balanced and consistent information is required, and adherence to the Code of Ethics for Information.

If free elections by secret ballot are the pillar of democracy, then the responsibility of all stakeholders in society is to provide real conditions for free and fair elections.    


                                                                                                            OMBUDSMAN


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