Local elections 2013

Project: Domestic monitoring of Local elections 2013

The democracy starts and functions through free, regular and fair elections.

The Project mission: Contribution towards transparent electoral process through non-partisan domestic monitoring of all segments of election process.

The Project objectives are:

  • Ensuring citizens participation in the process of domestic non-partisan monitoring of elections;
  • Ensuring the respect of the rule of law and human rights in the course of voting procedure at the polling stations;
  • Increasing awareness among citizens on their rights and obligations related to the examination of the official Voters’ list of RM.

 Project activities:

  • Obtaining and processing data on the citizens examination of their data in the Voters list in the branch offices of the State Election Commission (within the legally prescribed period for public inspection of the voters list 26 January to 9 February);
  • Recruitment and training of the volunteers as domestic observers
  • Monitoring the pre-election period (monitoring the work of MEC, activities of the political parties and activities of all stakeholders within the election process);
  • Monitoring the election campaign (monitoring the respect for the Code of conduct for free and fair elections);
  • Monitoring the voting of the internally displaced persons, sick and disabled persons and persons who are in custody or serving prison sentence;
  • Monitoring the Election day (static observers, mobile teams, PVT observers, rotating observers, observers monitoring the work of MECs and SEC);
  • Monitoring of the post election period (process of submitting appeals and complaints);
  • Analyzing the reports and informing the public.

Citizen’s Association MOST presents the Final Report of the observation of the Local Elections 2013.

PRELIMINARY STATEMENT

22.04.2013, Skopje

Citizens Association MOST monitored the voting on the 21 April with around 130 observers. MOST observers monitored the voting at the 29 polling stations in the municipality of Center, 9 polling stations in Struga municipality, as well as at the one polling station in Gjorce Petrov municipality. At the same time MOST observers monitored the second round at 20 polling stations out of the 39 polling stations in Dolneni municipality. The work of the State Election Commission as well as of the municipality election commissions where the voting took place were monitored, too.

MOST’s observers were static and monitored the voting process throughout the Election Day. In addition to the static observers at the polling stations, the MOST Citizens’ Association also deployed mobile teams, acting as logistical support to the static observers and monitoring the polling stations where MOST had not deployed static observers.

According to the reports and information acquired from the observers and 6 regional coordinators, it is the preliminary assessment of the MOST Citizens’ Association that the voting on the 21 April was conducted efficiently, but in a tense atmosphere inside and outside of certain polling stations which do not contribute towards building democratic culture and positive image of the election process in Republic of Macedonia.

As in the previous election round, at certain polling stations in the municipality of Center, there were doubts whether ceratain persons were living in the municipality of Centre. Nevertheless, the fact that the Voters List again caused problems and by that created distrust in the entire election process, underlines the need for urgent intervention which will contribute towards eliminating the eventual anomalies during the updating of the Voters list. The competent institutions for updating of the Voters List are: Ministry of internal affairs, primary courts (responsible to provide data on the working capacities of the voters and persons in home custody), State Statistical Office, and the State Election Commission is formally competent for its maintenance.

During the day in the municipality of Center, there were noted attempts to manipulate the citizens on the date for conduct of the voting, attempts for demotivating and discouraging the citizens to go out and vote through sabotages and methods that do not contribute towards building democratic culture and positive image of the election process in Republic of Macedonia.

As to the other municipalities where the voting took place, in Dolneni municipality cases of family voting were registered, and the voting at the polling stations in Struga and Gjorce Petrov in general, was conducted without irregularities.

Regarding the deciding upon the complaints in the second round, this time, the State Election Commission has improved its image from the first round and it was consistent in the process of making decisions. But, the same conclusion cannot be stressed about the Administrative court. Namely, the Administrative Court has changed some of the State Election Commission decisions. The inconsistency of the methodology for deciding upon the lawsuits in the first and second round is a contribution towards decreasing the trust in this institution, as a final instance in the process of protection of the right to vote.

The key findings of the both rounds as well as in the re-run will be presented to the public by the Final report on the conduct of election of the Citizens Association MOST.

MOST extends its great gratitude to all the citizens who selflessly assisted the efforts to have a domestic non-partisan monitoring of the elections and who were part of the great family of MOST, as well as to all the supporters who helped the mission of the MOST Citizens’ Association.

The project “Domestic monitoring of Local elections 2013” is being implemented by the Citizens Association MOST and it is supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, Embassy of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Belgrade, Serbia.

СООПШТЕНИЕ ЗА МЕДИУМИ- 18:00 часот

21.04.2013, Скопје

 

Според потврдените информации, дојавени од набљудувачите на МОСТ, во општина Центар, продолжува трендот на реакции на партиски набљудувачи поради појавата на лица за кои постои сомневање дека живеат во општина Центар, а имаат важечки биометриски документи и се запишани во Избирачкиот список. Оваа појава е забележана

на дел од избирачките места во: ОУ Коле Неделковски, ДСУ за рехабилитација и образование Св. Наум Охридски, ОУ Јохан Хајнрих Песталоци, Фудбалски Сојуз на Македонија на ул. 8ма ударна бригада како и Дом на Градежници, каде исто така е забележано е зголемено присуство на полицијата, гужва и тензична атмосфера во и пред избирачките места.

На ИМ 2855 во Дом на градежници, општина Центар,  претставници на медиумите кои биле застанати позади ИО, при евиденција на тројца гласачи ги снимале нивните лични документи. И покрај тоа што еден од членовите на ИО реагирал, претседателот на ИО не ги спречил бидејќи новинарите имале соодветна легитимација. Исто така двајца членови на ИО од соседното ИМ 2856, дошле до ИМ 2855 и со нивните мобилни телефони го снимиле настанот.

Во општина Долнени забележани се случаи на семејно гласање, и тоа:

–      На ИМ 1472, забележани се 12 случаи,

–      На ИМ 1473, забележани се 10 случаи,

–      На ИМ 1476, забележани се 15 случаи.

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Проектот “Домашно набљудување на Локалните избори 2013“ е реализиран од страна на Граѓанска асоцијација МОСТ и е поддржан од Швајцарската агенција за меѓународен развој, Амбасадата на Сојузна Република Германија, Амбасадата на Обединетото Кралство на Велика Британија и Северна Ирска, Амбасадата на Кралството Холандија и Амбасадата на Кралството Норвешка од Белград, Србија.

PRESS RELEASE – 15.00 o’clock

21.04.2013, Skopje

According to the confirmed information from the observers and regional offices of MOST, so far at the polling stations the following irregularities were noted:

– Polling station 2849, municipality of Center, a journalist has asked to take pictures at the polling station. The polling station committee allowed the journalist to take picture and stressed not to take picture of the voters. When the journalist wanted to leave the polling station, the polling station committee asked to check the photos and see if there were photos of voters. The journalist was against this request and the police was called in.

– Polling station 2802, municipality of Center, behind the polling booth it was noted a written slogan against certain political party. After the reaction of a voter, the polling station committee has covered the slogan with a paper and the voting continued.

– Polling station 1210 Dolneni municipality, voter’s name was circled and signed in the Voters list even though there were no traces of invisible ink. The polling station committee has created a report and the voter was allowed to vote.

On the free of charge phone number 080 080 080, the citizens mostly reported about scattered propaganda material, not being able to vote due to the broken elevators in the buildings, flat tires of cars as well as about the sick and disabled persons who were not able to vote even though they voted in the forts and second round.

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The Project “Domestic Monitoring of the Local elections 2013” is implemented by the Citizen’s Association MOST” and supported by the Swiss agency for Development and Cooperation, Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany,  Embassy of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Belgrade, Serbia.

PRESS RELEASE– 10:00o’clock

21.04.2013, Скопје

Citizens Association MOST will monitor the voting on the 21 April with around 130 observers. MOST observers will monitor the re-run of the voting at the 29 polling stations in the municipality of Center, 9 polling stations in Struga municipality, as well as at the one polling station in Gjorce Petrov municipality. At the same time MOST observers will monitor the second round at 20 polling stations out of the 39 polling stations in Dolneni municipality. Additionally MOST will deploy mobile teams with aim to provide logistic support to the static observers.

According to the information from the observers and regional coordinators al polling stations where MOST has deployed observers are opened on time.

So far, it is noted a 20 minutes interruption of the voting at the polling station 1490 in Dolneni municipality. Namely, sick and disabled person accompanied by e person from outside entered the polling station with aim to vote, and a party observers reacted on this one and did not allow the observer to vote. Although the polling station committee stressed that the procedure is respected, still the party observer kept arguing and the police was asked to react. After the interruption of 20 minutes, the voting continued.

In the municipality of Center, it was noted scattered propaganda materials with disinformation on the date of the conduct of the Elections.

During the course of the day, the citizens who want to report eventual irregularities or provide information related to the electoral process, can do that on the free telephone line 080 080 080. 

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 The Project “Domestic Monitoring of the Local elections 2013” is implemented by the Citizen’s Association MOST” and supported by the Swiss agency for Development and Cooperation, Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany,  Embassy of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Belgrade, Serbia.

PRESS RELEASE

20.04.2013, Skopje

 

MOST OBSERVERS WILL MONITOR THE VOTING IN THE FOUR MUNICIPALITIES

Citizens Association MOST will monitor the voting on the 21 April 2013 with around 130 observers. The MOST observers will be monitoring the re-run at the 29 polling stations in the municipality of Center, 9 polling stations in Struga municipality, as well as at one polling station in the municipality of Gjorce Petrov. MOST observers, too, will be monitoring the voting in the second round at 20 polling stations out of the 39 polling stations in the Dolneni municipality. Additionally MOST will deploy mobile teams that will provide logistic support to the static observes. The work of the municipality election commissions will be monitored as well.

Besides the voting on Sunday, MOST monitors the early voting in the four municipalities.

The MOST observers will be recognized by the yellow T-shirts and the possession of the SEC accreditation and MOST authorization cards will be mandatory for the observers as well. During the E-day the key findings from the monitoring efforts will be available on the web page www.most.org.mk.

The project “Domestic monitoring of Local elections 2013” is being implemented by the Citizens Association MOST and it is supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, Embassy of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Belgrade, Serbia.

PRELIMINARY STATEMENT ON THE SECOND ROUND OF ELECTIONS
08.04.2013, Skopje

The Citizens Association MOST monitored the second round of the local elections by deploying 2.080 observers who covered around 55-60% of the polling stations in the municipalities where the voting took place on the 7 April. The voting of the sick and disabled persons and the voting of the persons, who are in house custody, was monitored by 63 observers, who monitored the work of 117 polling stations committees and the voting of 1.020 persons. Additionally, the voting of the persons serving prison sentence, was done by 9 observers. At the same time, the work of the State Election Commission and of the Municipality Elections Commissions was monitored too.

MOST’s monitors were static and monitored the voting process throughout the Election Day. In addition to the static monitors at the polling stations, the MOST Citizens’ Association also deployed 43 mobile teams, acting as logistical support to the static observers and monitoring the polling stations where MOST had not deployed static observers

Based on the reports and information acquired from the observers and 27 regional coordinators, it is the preliminary assessment of the MOST Citizens’ Association that the voting process on 7 April was conducted in generally peaceful atmosphere, marred by insufficient decreased number of irregularities, but under the circumstances that raised the question about the quality of the Voters List and the confidence in it.

The frequent irregularities that were reported by MOST observers are: family voting, incorrect use of the UV lamp, photographing the ballot papers and disrespect and abused of the procedure for assisting the voters who cannot vote by their own. It is the responsibility of the polling stations committees to prevent these kinds of irregularities.

At certain polling station in Kocani municipality, there were noted problems with the excerpts of the Voters list, that is, one or several pages from the Voters List were missing. These situations were overcome by appropriate reaction from the Kocani municipality elections commission.

In these elections, too, we were witnesses of certain situations that produced distrust in the Voters List.

Namely, in certain polling stations in the municipality of Centre, there were persons who were under suspicion whether they live in the municipality of Centre and the polling stations committees had dilemma whether to allow these persons to vote. In the first round, a political party has demanded the SEC to check the ground on which 13.869 voters were registered in the Voters List. The SEC has forwarded this demand to the Ministry of Interior, since this ministry is responsible for issuing identification documents. Up to day, this institution has not provided clarification on this demand.

The SEC has made a conclusion that, the voters possessing passports where address of living in Republic of Macedonia is not stated, are not to be allowed to vote. Yet, since the Election Code proscribes that citizens who have residence on the territory of the Republic of Macedonia shall be registered in the Voters List, this act represent only clarification of the legal provisions.

As to the early voting, even though the SEC and MOST have appealed to cautiously manage the requests for this type of voting, still once again we have noted increased number of registered persons. Namely, the analyse of the municipalities where the second round took place, including all the municipalities in the City of Skopje, showed that in the first round there were 4.841 registered persons, and in the second round there were 6.211 registered persons, that is 28.3% more than the first round.

In the first round the MEC of Tearce was pointed out as a positive example, and in the second round it is to point out the MEC of Tetovo. Namely, the Tetovo MEC has engaged a medical person who has audited the medical documents. Once the audit was done, out of the around 324 requests, only 81 were allowed. This is a positive example and good practice that has to be followed in the future by all municipal election commissions.

The observers of MOST have noted that during the conduct of this voting there were cases of incorrect use of the UV lamp and invisible ink, persons not in the Voters List and violations of the secrecy of ballot. Additionally, part of the polling stations committees have not taken with them the entire election material needed for this type of voting.

As a positive act is evaluated the SEC decision to dismiss the Chair MEC and the 13 polling stations committees where the initial official results for election of mayor of Chair in the first round were annulled. We do hope that this decision will act in a preventative manner, and in the future, the election organs will respect the legal provisions. Yet, it is to be noted whether the public prosecution will initiate procedure about this case.

The election campaign in the second round was marred by lower level of field activities by the political subjects, by conduct of small rallies and door to door campaign. On the other hand, the campaign was more present and aggressive in the media. Low level of intensity of the campaign was noted in the first week between the two election rounds, since the process of decision making upon the complaints and appeals regarding the first round was undergoing at the same time. The activities intensified in the last days of the election campaign before the start of the election silence. During the second round election campaign, there were noted several parties’ appearances and supports to the current candidates by the candidates who did not manage to go into second round. At the same time, this kind of support was provided by the candidates who have won the office in the first round, and the support from the central authorities continued, too. There were registered cases when part of the current mayors was conducting infrastructural activities within this period. We do underline that, if these activities are not part of the planned budget activities of the municipality, it is to be treated as violations of the election rules and misuse of the state and public resources.

MOST extends its great gratitude to all the citizens who selflessly assisted the efforts to have a domestic non-partisan monitoring of the elections and who were part of the great family of MOST, as well as to all the supporters who helped the mission of the MOST Citizens’ Association.

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The project “Domestic monitoring of Local elections 2013” is being implemented by the Citizens Association MOST and it is supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, Embassy of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Belgrade, Serbia.

Press Release – 21:15

07.04.2013, Skopje

According to the confirmed information reported from the MOST observers and the MOST regional offices, the following irregularities were noticed:

 

–        PS 0845 in Kochani, 109 cases were registered where voters claimed that they are illiterate and brought other persons to help them to cast their vote. Later, the same persons who claimed that they are illiterate were helping other illiterate persons to cast their vote.

–        PS 1087 in Kumanovo, the voting was interrpupted for 20 minutes because a voter took picture of the ballot. After the EB intervened the ballot was torn apart and put aside as invalid.

–        PS 1957 in Tetovo, 26 cases when the UV lamp was not used.

–        PS 2950 in Butel, a voter could not vote because somebody had signed in his name in the Voters List. The EB allowed the voter to vote and to sign by his name. This was entered in the protocol.

–        PS 0054 in Bitola, the voting was interrupted for 1 hour and 45 minutes because of a broken seal. The seal was not repaired. It has been decided that instead putting seal on the ballots, the president of the EB shall sign the ballots, after which the voting continued. This was reported to the MEC.

–        PS 0406 in Gostivar, the voting was interrupted for 20 minutes because a voter was not allowed to vote. The voter did not have mark on the thumb, but somebody has signed in his name in the Voters List.

–        PS 2959 in Shuto Orizari, a voter said that he does not have identification documents after which the EB allowed him to vote, with the explanation that he was a neighbour of one of the EB members and they knew him.

–        PS 1968 in Tetovo, the seal was broken and after instruction given by the State Election Commission the president of the EB was signing the ballots with the number of the PS.

–        PS 1929, 1930, 1931 in Tetovo, 20 cases of family voting and 20 cases when the UV lamp was not used were registered.

–        In Gositvar, cases of family voting were registered in the following polling stations:

  • 0390, 12 cases were registered;
  • 0412, 11 cases were registered;
  • 0426, 13 cases were registered;
  • 0518, 12 cases were registered;
  • 0519, 19 cases were registered;
  • 0504, 19 cases were registered;
  • 0511, 14 cases were registered.

–        In municipality of Centar, on some of the polling stations in: primary schools Kole Nedelkovski, Dimitar Miladinov, Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi, High School for Rehabilitation and Education St. Naum Ohridski, Footbal Federation of Macedonia located on “8-ma udarna brigada” st. and Home of the Contstruction Workers, after 17:30 our observers noticed crowd, tense atmosphere, as well as increased level of media and police presence. According to our observers, the reason for this was the increased number of voters and the interventions of party observers who reacted that these voters do not live in municipality of Centar, as well as the dilemmas of the EB members whether to allow these voters to excercise their right to vote.

 

The citizens called the toll-free telephone number 080-080-080 in most cases to get informed on the location of their PS, to report loud reading of the voters names or cases where they could not find their name in the Voters List and to report political advertising material disseminated around the PSs.

 

The Citizens Association MOST preliminary statement for the elections will be announced tomorrow, on a press conference scheduled at 14:00.

 

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The Project “Domestic Monitoring of the Local Elections 2013” is implemented by the Citizens Association MOST” and supported by the Swiss agency for Development and Cooperation, Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, Embassy of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Belgrade, Serbia.

Press Release – 17:15
07.04.2013, Skopje

press_1715_07.04.2013
According to the confirmed information reported from the MOST observers and the MOST regional offices, the following irregularities were noticed:

  • PS 2909 in Butel, members of the EB in 4 cases helped voters who are not able to vote by themselves, while in PS 2966 in Shuto Orizari this irregularity was registered in 6 cases.
  • PS 1905 in Struga, 13 cases of family voting, 8 cases where the procedure for voting of persons who are not able to vote by themselves was not respected, as well as 3 cases of public voting.
  • PS 1907 in Struga, 9 cases of family voting and 7 cases of public voting.
  • PS 0438 in Vrapchishte, 1 voter was allowed to vote although he/she was not listed in the Voters List. He/she stated that he voted at that PS in the first round, so the EB allowed him/her to vote. On this PS there were also 11 cases of family voting.
  • PS 0838 in Kochani, taking picture of the ballot was noticed and a remark in the protocol was entered.
  • PS 0412 in Gostivar, loud reading of voters’ names.
  • PS 1917 in Veleshta, municipality of Struga, from 14:00 until now 14 new cases of family cases were registered, as well as 8 cases of public voting.
  • PS 2154 in Veles, 10 voters were not checked with UV lamp to determine whether they have spray on the thumb of the right hand.
  • PS 0427 in Gostivar, 10 cases of family voting.
  • PS 0843 in Kochani, marked ballot bearing the seal of the appropriate PS was found behind the voting screen. The ballot was put aside, and the EB shall decide about the validity of this ballot after the completion of the voting.
  • PS 2948 in Butel, the members of the EB noticed that the ballot stub for Mayor of the municipality has 1 ballot less than the ballot stub for Mayor of the City of Skopje. The voting was interrupted for 15 minutes. This was entered in the protocol and it was decided that the issue will be resolved after the completion of the voting.

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The Project “Domestic Monitoring of the Local Elections 2013” is implemented by the Citizens Association MOST” and supported by the Swiss agency for Development and Cooperation, Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, Embassy of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Belgrade, Serbia.

Press Release – 13:15
07.04.2013, Skopje

press_1315_07.04.2013

According to the information received from the MOST observers and the MOST regional coordinators the following irregularities were noticed:

  • PS 0845 in Kochani, the voting had been interrupted from 08:20 to 10:20 because 5 pages were missing from the Voters List. The voting continued after the MEC had brought new excerpt from the Voters List. After 19:00, the voting at this PS shall be prolonged for 2 hours.
  • PS 1734 in Strumica, the voting had been interrupted for approximately 1 hour because a voter broke the cover of the ballot box when trying to put the ballot in the box. The MEC and the police were called. After the inspection, the cover was replaced and it was decided to prolong the voting for 1 hour after 19:00. Outside the same PS several gunfires in the air were registered.
  • PS 1917 in Veleshta, municipality of Struga, 32 cases of family voting were registered. Presence of unauthorized persons has been also noticed, 4 cases of public voting, as well as 3 occasions when the same person voted for 9 other persons.
  • PS 0406 in Gostivar, the voting had been interrupted for 40 minutes because a ballot had been found behind the voting screen. The MEC was called and the president of the EB was dismissed. MEC issued an instruction that after the voting is completed, it should be decided whether the ballot is valid or invalid.
  • On PS 0071 and 0072 in Bitola, as well as 0518 and 0519 in Gostivar the members of the EB do not carry their identification cards/badges.
  • PS 1730 in Strumica, as well as 0372 and 0373 in Bogdanci, loud reading of voters’ names.
  • PS 0510 in Gostivar, 22 cases of family voting
  • PS 0434 in Gostivar, 20 cases of family voting
  • PS 0506 in Gostivar, 11 cases of family voting
  • PS 2573 in Gjorche Petrov, a voter took picture of the ballot, after which there was a reaction from the EB and the ballots were invalidated.
  • PS 1949 in Tetovo, 18 cases where the UV lamp was not used, 34 cases where the invisible spray was not used, as well as 24 cases of family voting.

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The Project “Domestic Monitoring of the Local Elections 2013” is implemented by the Citizens Association MOST” and supported by the Swiss agency for Development and Cooperation, Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, Embassy of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Belgrade, Serbia.

Press Release – 09:15
07.04.2013, Skopje

The Citizen’s Association MOST monitors the today’s voting with 2080 observers. They will cover 50-60% of the polling stations within each municipality where a voting takes place.

The MOST observers are of a static type and will monitor the voting process during the course of the day. In addition, there are mobile teams that will provide logistical support to the static observers and will occasionally observe the places where no static observers are deployed.

According to the information received from the MOST observers and the MOST regional coordinators, all of the polling stations in which MOST has deployed observers were opened. So far it was noticed that:

  • Polling station (PS) 2164 in Veles, a voter took picture of the ballot. After the reaction by the Electoral Board (EB) the voter left the polling station, but his personal ID card was not returned to him. The Municipal Election Commission (MEC) and the police were called to the place and the voting had been interrupted for 40 minutes. After the intervention the voting has continued.
  • PS 0848 in Kochani, pages from the excerpt of the Voters List were missing. The missing pages contained data for 90 voters. The MEC has been informed and the voting is still interrupted.
  • The voting on PS 0837, 0850 and 0852 in Kochani had been also interrupted because of missing page in the Voters List.
  • PS 0408 in Gostivar, only 1 member of the 5 members of the EB carries his/her identification card.
  • PS 2870 in municipality of Centar was opened with 10 minutes delay.

During the course of the day, the citizens who want to report eventual irregularities or provide information related to the electoral process, can do that on the free telephone line 080 080 080. Should the citizens are not sure where they can exercise their right to vote, they can check this by entering their personal data on the web page http://izbirackispisok.gov.mk.

All the confirmed information from the election day will be publicly announced on three press conferences at 13:15, 17:15 and 21:15.

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The Project “Domestic Monitoring of the Local Elections 2013” is implemented by the Citizens Association MOST” and supported by the Swiss agency for Development and Cooperation, Embassy of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Belgrade, Serbia.

PRESS RELEASE

06.04.2013, Skopje

MOST once again, deploys the largest number of observers at polling stations on 7 April

The voting on the 7 April will be monitored by 2080 observers of the Citizens Association MOST, who will cover between 50 and 60 percent of the polling stations within every municipality where the voting on Sunday will be conducted.

The MOST observers will be static ones, and they will be monitoring the voting process at the polling stations all day long. Additionally, there will be deployed mobile teams as logistical support to the static observers and these mobile teams will monitor voting process at the polling stations that are not covered by MOST static observers

Besides the voting on Sunday, today MOST monitors the early voting of sick and disabled persons, internally displaced persons, the voting of the persons who are in house custody, as well as persons serving prison sentence.

The yellow T-shirts with printed “Monitoring 2013” and MOST logo on the front, as well as MOST authorizations and SEC accreditation cards placed visibly will be the recognizable marks of the citizens who as domestic observers are part of the Citizen’s Association MOST monitoring team. This year’s marks of the observers differ from the previous years’ marks. Having on mind the noted cases in the first round when observers used to represent themselves as MOST observers only with SEC accreditation cards, MOST underlines that observer of the association is the citizen who wears yellow T- shirt, and possess SEC accreditation cards and MOST authorizations issued only for these years elections.

During the Election Day, citizens who want to report possible irregularities or to give information regarding the election process can use the free of charge phone line 080 080 080. If the citizens are not familiar with the polling station where they can cast their right to vote, they can find out it by entering their data on the web page izbirackispisok.gov.mk.

All confirmed information from the monitoring of the Election Day, MOST will announce to the public at four press conferences that will be held at: 9:15 a.m., 1:15 p.m., 5:15 p.m. and 9:15 p.m.

The Citizen’s Association MOST once again appeals to have fair, free and peaceful election process.

The project “Domestic monitoring of Local elections 2013” is being implemented by the Citizens Association MOST and it is supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, Embassy of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Belgrade, Serbia

PRESS RELEASE

01.04.2013, Skopje

Citizens Association MOST monitored the process of deciding upon complaints for the procedure for voting, tabulating and determining the results of the voting filed to the State Election Commission.

Unfortunately, it is to be concluded that the State Election Commission performance was not on the level equal to the highest election body which has to safeguard the legality of the conduct of the elections. Namely, within the deciding process upon the complaints, the SEC was not consistent in the decision making process.

Citizens Association MOST will not comment the complaints filed by the political parties.

At the same time, the Citizens Association MOST will not comment the individual decisions and voting of this body, since part of the decisions were made without taking into consideration the Election code but were generated from the narrow political interests.

Within the debates upon the complaints, the members of the SEC, instead of being focused on the subject of the debate, very often political speeches were conducted and political views were advocated, which is not permitted for this type of organ

Regarding the decision to annul the initial official results for election of mayor of Chair municipality announced by the SEC, we do appeal for appropriate proceedings to be initiated against the persons who have violated the legal provisions.

As to the record number of the sick and disabled persons registered for the first election round, at least 13.323 according to the information that MOST received from the MECs, the instructions for conduct of this type of voting defines that:

“Sick and disabled is a person who is incapacitated to fulfil basic living needs (is not capable to move in the apartment with accessories, practice hygiene, take off and on cloths, feed him/herself, neither to perform other activities with aim to meet the basic living needs), i.e. the person is immobilized, completely blind, suffers from muscular dystrophy or similar muscular or neuromuscular diseases, cerebral palsy or poliomyelitis or paraplegia”.

It is not clear what type of certificate for a health situation is needed, that is, if this type of certificate can be issued by family doctor?!

The act of the MEC of Tearce is a positive example. Namely, there were 49 requests for early voting submitted to the MEC, and after the MEC of Tearce has announced that all the requests will be examined with aim to check the fulfilment of the conditions prescribed for this type of voting, all requests were withdrawn. We do appeal the rest of the MECs to follow up this positive example and thoroughly to review the requests for the early voting before the second round of the elections.

As it was concluded in the Preliminary statement of MOST for the first round regarding the cases when the voters were not found in the Voters list, we appeal to the citizens to check their data on the web page izbirackispisok.gov.mk before the second round, with aim to determine the polling station where they can cast their right to vote. Those citizens who will not find their data in the Voters list, we would like to direct them to visit the local offices of the SEC and to determine the reasons for not being on the Voters list. At the same time, we call on the competent institutions to investigate these cases and to inform the public on the reasons that these citizens are not on the Voters list.

The Project “Domestic Monitoring of the Local elections 2013” is implemented by the Citizen’s Association MOST” and supported by the Swiss agency for Development and Cooperation, Embassy of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Belgrade, Serbia.

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  Additional information: Citizens Association MOST phone 02/ 30 99 384

PRELIMINARY STATEMENT
25.03.2013, Skopje

         

The MOST Citizens’ Association has been monitoring the election process since the elections were scheduled on 11 January 2013. The process has been monitored by 18 regional offices, covering all 85, i.e. 81 Units of Local Self-government, thus covering the entire territory of the Republic of Macedonia. On the Election Day, MOST deployed 3332 monitors, covering approximately 50% of the total number of polling stations, whereby approximately the same percentage of polling stations was covered in each of the municipalities. A total of 99 monitors were deployed to observe the voting of sick and disabled persons, and 16 monitors were deployed to monitor the voting of the persons who are serving prison sentence. In addition, our monitoring also covered the work of the State Electoral Commission and the municipal electoral committees.

MOST’s monitors were static and monitored the voting process throughout the Election Day. In addition to the static monitors at the polling stations, the MOST Citizens’ Association also deployed 86 mobile teams, acting as logistical support to the static observers and occasionally monitoring the polling stations where MOST had not deployed static observers.

Based on the reports and information acquired from the observers and 31 regional co-ordinators, it is the preliminary assessment of the MOST Citizens’ Association that the voting process on 24 March was conducted in peaceful atmosphere, marred by high voters’ turn out. It is to stress that even though the election board members were newly elected, most of the EBs effectively performed their work during the voting procedure, and in more specific situations asked for reaction of the municipal election commissions. The reactions were rapid ones and respond to the situations. This is a continuation of a positive practice that was noted in the privious parliamentary elections.

The frequent irregularities that were reported by MOST observers are: group/family voting, incorrect use of the UV lamp, photographing the ballot papers and registering the name of the voters by the party’s observers at the polling stations. However, it is to be underlined the decreased intensity of some of these irregularities, such as proxy voting, multiply voting and to stress the increased intensity of cases of group and family voting.

Even though reading the names of the voters loudly is not defined as violation of the law, this practice is indirect pressure on the citizens. It is matter of concern since none of the political parties react on this issue.

At the same time, there were cases when the voters were not in the voters’ list even though they possessed biometrical identification papers.

Regarding the voting conduced one day before the Election Day, the fact that there is an increased number of sick and disabled persons registered for homebound voting is concerning issue.

Namely, according to the information from the MOST observers gained from the MECs, the number of this category of voters is at least 13.323, unlike in 2011, when there were 10.749 registered voters. Having on mind the precise definition of sick and disabled person within the SEC guidelines, we have to conclude that the increasing trend of these cases, which is not disputed by the political subjects, questions the secrecy of ballot of these voters. The disproportional relation between the number of the voters and the number of registered sick and disabled persons in a municipality is another proof of that.

Also involved in the High-Level Accession Dialogue was a Working Group tasked with reviewing the Voters list. The group was attended by all relevant institutions including MOST. Upon completing its work in December 2012, the said Working Group ruled that only citizens of the RM holding valid biometric personal identification documents would be inscribed in the Voters list. Considering the short deadlines in the face of the election process, this measure seemed the most effective. Still, although at the beginning of the activities in March 2012 MOST had suggested conducting a field review of the Voters list, no such review was undertaken. This left room for doubts regarding the veracity of the data contained in the Voters list and, consequently, several days before the elections, one political party requested the SEC to check whether 13,869 voters had been registered in the Voters List contrary to the Law. On the other hand, the SEC never issued an official statement concerning the inspection of the Voters List, i.e. on the number of changes made to it according to the legal provisions and within the legal dead line. During earlier election processes, the MOST Citizens’ Association used to receive such information from the SEC regional offices, but on this occasion these offices were not authorised to give us such information.

The political crisis that ensued resulted in unprecedented amendments to the Electoral Code during the election process, and was made on two separate occasions , whereby new deadlines for the submission of the lists of candidates were set. It must be underlined that these amendments did not allow groups of voters to use the additional deadlines for their submission of lists of candidates, i.e. the said amendments applied to political parties and coalitions alone.

Generally, the work of the State Electoral Commission has been public and transparent. The State Election Commission faced a serious test when the coalition led by VMRO-DPMNE submitted requests to withdraw its lists of councillors for Kičevo and Struga in order to run for seats in these two municipalities jointly in a coalition with SDSM. The issue of the withdrawal of lists is not regulated under the Electoral Code and, consequently, the members of the SEC were divided when voting – this time along ethnic lines.

With regard to the legally prescribed timeframes for the implementation of election activities, it has been observed that generally they have been respected.

We have yet again witnessed a premature commencement of the campaign, which has mostly owed to the small fines foreseen for the violation; however, it is an equally troubling fact that the State Election Commission has failed to act on these violations. Namely, several days before the election, submissions were filed before the SEC with claims that SDMS and VMRO-DPMNE had commenced campaign activities prematurely. Although the SEC had every opportunity to consider these submissions and to decide upon them during the run-up to the elections, these submissions have yet to be considered.

The election campaign for the first round was characterised by intense activity on the part of the political entities. The intense political polarisation, mudslinging, abuse of state and public resources (such as use of official vehicles for campaign purposes), presence of juvenile persons at the political parties’ rallies and quite frequent instances of hate-speech. After some time, an increased nationalistically rhetoric was noted too. Moreover, the support that the central authorities gave to the candidates from the ruling coalition was also prominent. Although this is not contrary to the Law, it nevertheless brings into question the very substance of local self-government.

MOST extends its utmost gratitude to all the citizens who selflessly supported our efforts to ensure domestic non-partisan monitoring of the elections and who have been part of MOST’s great family, as well as to all those who supported and helped the mission of the MOST Citizen’s Association.

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The content of this statement is the responsibility solely of MOST and does not necessarily reflect the views or positions of the Swiss Development and Cooperation Agency, the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Embassy of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands or the Embassy of the Kingdom of Norway in Belgrade.

 

PRESS Release – 21:00
24.03.2013, Skopje

According to the confirmed information reported by the MOST observers and the MOST regional coordinators the following irregularities were noticed:

  • Polling station (PS) 1852, municipality of Struga, 27 cases of family voting.
  • PS 1930, municipality of Tetovo, more than 30 cases of family voting.
  • In the Municipal Electoral Commission (MEC) Studenicani, reported are 23 voters with biometric ID cards but not listed in the voters list.
  • PS 1376 municipality of Prilep, two persons in two separate occasions were caught taking pictures of the ballots. In the both cases the police reacted and the voting continued after 10 minutes interruption.
  • PSs 1944 and 1989, more than 15 cases of family voting per PS.
  • PS 1947 municipality of Tetovo, more than 30 cases of not using of the UV lamp.
  • PS 1956 municipality of Tetovo, a minor wanted to vote with other person’s ID card and the Electoral Board (EB) gave him the ballots. After they noticed the mistake the ballots were annulled and placed in the voting box. Police conducted the inspection and the case is recorded in the report of the PS.
  • PS 0301, municipality of Valandovo, 10 cases of family voting.
  • PS 1682, municipality of Sveti Nikole, loud reading of the voters names.
  • Municipality of Gazi Baba, PS 2507 – 20 persons, PS 2509 – 30 persons and PS 2510 -30 persons were not listed in the voters list.

After the closing of the PS 2764 and 2765 at “The house of the blind”, PS 2766 and 2767 at the Elementary School Krume Kepeski and the PS 2655 local community Przino, municipality of Kisela Voda there was a power cut. In the PS 2577 and 2558 at the Elementary School Dimitar Pop Gjorgiev Berovski municipality of Gjorce Petrov there was no electricity.

To the toll free telephone number 080-080-080 the citizens often turned in order to get informed on the location of their PS, to report loud reading of the voters names or cases where they could not find their name in the voters list and to report political advertising material disseminated around the PSs.

The Citizens’ Association MOST preliminary elections assessment report will be announced tomorrow on the press conference at 13:30.

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The Project “Domestic Monitoring of the Local elections 2013” is implemented by the Citizen’s Association MOST” and supported by the Swiss agency for Development and Cooperation, Embassy of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Belgrade, Serbia.

press_1700_24.03.2013PRESS Release – 17:00
24.03.2013, Skopje

According to the confirmed information reported by the MOST observers and the MOST regional coordinators it was noticed that:

  • Polling station (PS) 1537, municipality of Probistip, it was allowed to one voter to vote without checking his personal data against the voters list and while he was behind the voting boot the Electoral board (EB) found out that the person is not part of the voters list for that PS. The ballots were annulled and a report is filed.
  • PS 0937 municipality of Kratovo the voting boot has a small opening so there is a violation of the secrecy of the voting.
  • PS 0845 municipality of Kocani, there was a 15 minutes interruption of the voting process due to malfunction of the UV lamp. After the repair the voting continued.
  • PS 0678 municipality of Kavadarci, using the laud reading of the voters names a political party observer made a list of the voters. After a reaction from the EB members and the observers the list was taken from him and torn after which the voting continued.
  • PS 2563 municipality of Gjorce Petrov there were 7 cases in which a political party observer was helping the voters during the vote and suggested them for whom to vote.
  • PS 2916 municipality of Cair a voter was not listed in the voters list but was allowed to vote.
  • PS 1583 municipality of Radovis, more than 10 cases of family voting were registered as well as a case when one person was helping more than one person to vote.
  • PS 1906, village of Labunusta municipality of Struga, more than 10 cases of family voting were registered.
  • PS 1908, village of Labunusta, municipality of Struga, 14 cases of family voting were registered.
  • PS 1905, village of Labunusta, municipality of Struga more than 35 cases of family voting were registered.
  • PS 2613 municipality of Karpos, unauthorized presence of a candidate list holder in the facility was registered.
  • PS 0276, 0277, 0279 municipality of Plasnica, systematic violations of the voting procedure were registered. There were more than 60 cases of family voting and systematic non-use of the UV lamp.
  • PS 1253 municipality of Ohrid there are two registered cases in which there were listed candidates from other municipalities on the ballot. The Municipal Electoral Commission (MEC) visited this PS and placed these two ballots in a separate envelope.
  • PS 1999, municipality of Tetovo, more than 35 cases of family voting are registered.

Registered loud reading of the names of the voters in:

  • PS 2848 municipality of Centar,
  • PS 0914 municipality of Kratovo,
  • PS 2860 municipality of Centar,

MOST is once more emphasizing that the authorized MOST observers in addition to the SEC accreditation have MOST accreditation as well and wear yellow t-shirts with Monitoring 2013 and MOST logo.

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The Project “Domestic Monitoring of the Local elections 2013” is implemented by the Citizen’s Association MOST” and supported by the Swiss agency for Development and Cooperation, Embassy of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Belgrade, Serbia.

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PRESS Release – 13:00 AM
24.03.2013, Skopje

press_1300_24.03.2013According to the information received from the MOST observers and the MOST regional coordinators it was noticed that:

  • Polling station (PS) 1917 village of Velesta municipality of Struga, group voting and family voting are registered and presence of an unauthorized person helping voters behind the booth. After the arrival of the police the person left.
  • PS 2158 in the municipality of Veles, the voting process was interrupted for 35 minutes due to a remark from a political party representative that a ballot is missing. The Electoral Board (EB) confirmed that everything is in order so the voting continued.
  • PS 2692 municipality of Aerodrom, the EB is loudly reading the names of the voters. After the reaction of the observers the loud reading of the names continued only with lower tone. One of the observers of the list submitters was making a list of the loudly spoken names of the voters who voted. Noticing that a member of the EB have taken the list from the observer.
  • PS 0931 municipality of Kratovo, there was an interruption of the voting in duration of 10 minutes due to a broken stamp. The stamp was repaired and the voting continued. The EB is reading loudly the voters names.
  • Loud reading of the voters names was noted in the following Polling stations:
    • PS 2809, municipality of Centar. The justification was that they have agreed to that with the observers of the list submitters.
    • PS 2638, municipality of Karpos,
    • PS 2816, municipality of Centar,
    • PS 2642, municipality of Karpos,
    • PS 2650, municipality of Karpos,
  • PS 2860 municipality of Centar, the EB by mistake have given two ballots, for voting for council of the City of Skopje, to one of the voters. After noticing that they have instructed the voter to make that ballot invalid and to present it to the board. The voter did not accept that and have placed both ballots in the box.
  • PS 0674 municipality of Kavadarci, a voter was noticed taking picture of his ballots after which he was deprived of the both ballots. His personal ID card was not returned to him and police was informed. The voting continued.
  • PS 0648 municipality of Demir Hisar, interruption of the voting process occurred since one of the voters after taking the ballots and going behind the voting boot nervously damaged the ballots and left the PS with the damaged ballots. The police found him and returned the ballots. The ballots were placed in the ballot box. The voting was interrupted for 30 minutes. The voting continued.
  • PS 1584, municipality of Radovis. Presence of unauthorized persons suggesting the voters how to vote was registered. After the reaction from one of the political party representatives the police have removed these persons.
  • PS 0845 municipality of Kocani, interruption of the voting process due to overcrowded polling place and because the president of the EB was reading loudly to one of the voters the candidates’ names. After the reaction from the Municipal Electoral Commission (MEC) the president was warned and the voting continued.
  • PS 1966 municipality of Tetovo, not usage of the UV lamp was noticed in more than 20 cases.
  • PS 2731 municipality of Aerodrom, member of the EB has placed 4 ballots in his bag. The president of the EB reacted and after the sears only 3 ballots were found in the bag. The police was informed, the voting was shortly interrupted. Before the closure of this release they were still expecting the arrival of the police.

Appearance of observers with SEC accreditations is noticed presenting themselves as MOST observers. Please note that the authorized MOST observers have SEC and MOST accreditations and wear yellow t-shirts with Monitoring 2013 logo.

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The Project “Domestic Monitoring of the Local elections 2013” is implemented by the Citizen’s Association MOST” and supported by the Swiss agency for Development and Cooperation, Embassy of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Belgrade, Serbia.

PRESS Release – 09:00 AM
24.03.2013, Skopje

press_0900_24.03.2013The Citizen’s Association MOST is deploying 3200 observers for the monitoring process of the today’s voting. They will cover about 50 percent of the polling stations on the territory of the Republic of Macedonia, as well as 50 percent of the polling stations within each municipality.

The MOST observers are of a static type and will follow the voting process during the course of the day. In addition, there are mobile teams that will provide logistical support to the static observers and will occasionally observe the places where no static observers are deployed.

According to the information received from the MOST observers and the MOST regional coordinators all of the places in which MOST has deployed observers were opened. So far it was noticed that:

  • Polling station 1720 in the municipality of Strumica was opened on time but soon after the opening the electoral board has noticed that there is a surplus of 33 ballots and the voting process was stopped. The municipal electoral commission (MEC) made an inquiry and noticed a mistake in the ballots serial numbers. They recommended this to be noted in the final rapport from that PS after which the voting continued.
  • Polling station 0957 municipality of Kriva Palanka was opened with one hour delay due to snow. This information was confirmed by the MEC Kriva Palanka.
  • Polling station 0925 in the municipality of Kratovo was opened at 7:30 AM. Loud reading of the first and the last names of the voters was noticed.
  • Polling Station 2295, municipality of Stip. The PS was opened at 7:00 AM but was closed 15 minutes later because there was a billboard of a political party in front of the object where the PS is located. The MEC in cooperation with the firefighter service removed it so the voting process continued.

During the course of the day, the citizens who want to report eventual irregularities or provide information related to the electoral process, can do it on the free telephone line 080 080 080. Should the citizens are not sure where they can exercise their right to vote, they can confirm it by entering their personal data on the website izbirackispisok.gov.mk.

All of the confirmed information from the e-day will be publicly announced on three press conferences at 13:00, 17:00 and 21:00.

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The Project “Domestic Monitoring of the Local elections 2013” is implemented by the Citizen’s Association MOST” and supported by the Swiss agency for Development and Cooperation, Embassy of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Belgrade, Serbia.

Citizen’s Association MOST held a press conference on which MOST observers’ outfit and activities, as well as the methods of reporting on the Election Day, 24th of March were presented. At the press conference besides Mr. Darko Aleksov, the German Ambassador Ms. Gudrun Steinacker, the Dutch Ambassador Ms. Marriët Schuurman, as well as the British Ambassador Mr. Christopher Yvon addressed the public and sent a message for free, fair and democratic elections.

Read more…

               

On 16 March 2013, the second briefing for the regional coordinators who are included in the project “Domestic monitoring of Local elections 2013” took place. An overview of the conducted activities was done and the observers forms and communication plan on the Election day were presented.

        

Citizen’s Association MOST held a press conference on which the up to day findings from the election observation process were presented.

From the very beginning of the election process, the Citizens Association MOST has engaged regional coordinators within 18 regional offices, who are covering the entire territory of Macedonia. These offices are monitoring the work of the election administration, the period before the start of the election campaign and the course of the election campaign.

Out of the 242 reports received and processed MOST has noted certain violations of the election rules which have impact on the conduct of the election process.Read more…

Граѓанската асоцијација МОСТ денес на конференција за медиуми го објави официјалниот почеток на активностите од  проектот „Домашно набљудување на Локалните избори 2013“.

На истата беше упатен и јавен повик до граѓаните за пријавување за набљудување на изборите (Регионални канцеларии на МОСТ).

Во рамките на конференцијата беше промовирана и кампањата „Кликни и провери се“ дел од проектот „Активни за демократија“.

Соопштение за медиуми “Кликни и провери се”

Соопштени за медиуми “Повик за пријавување набљудувачи за локалните избори 2013”

The Citizens Association MOST conducted the first briefing for the regional coordinators who are engaged in the frames of the project ;Domestic monitoring of the Local elections 2013