Statement of the Head of EU Delegation and Ambassadors of EU Member States present in Skopje on the upcoming elections
Skopje, 26/06/2020 - 12:43, UNIQUE ID: 200626_9
We welcome the agreement on a date for elections reached between the political parties. We recognise the role of the President of the Republic in facilitating the dialogue between the parties allowing the country to resume the electoral process on the basis of consensus, and conduct free, fair and credible elections.
We are confident that the citizens of the Republic of North Macedonia will demonstrate their commitment to parliamentary democracy by exercising their right to vote on the direction and priorities of the country.
As the Republic of North Macedonia is soon to embark on accession negotiations with the European Union it will benefit from a return to full parliamentary work, allowing it to continue to pursue and implement key reforms, as well as to prepare for negotiations.
As Europeans, we have all been facing together the consequences of the COVID-19 crisis. The crisis is not over and respecting all precautionary measures is still of paramount importance for all of us. We welcome the introduction of protocols and procedures that allow citizens to exercise their democratic rights, while ensuring their health and safety are protected, and encourage those charged with implementing them to be given the required training and support.
The State Election Commission has particular duties at this time, which must be exercised in an independent and professional manner in the interests of the country, and with the support of other state institutions. In the interest of establishing international recognition of free and fair elections, we welcome the decision of OSCE/ODIHR to assess the elections.
We expect all political parties to campaign within the confines of the law while respecting all COVID-19 precautionary measures. The electoral process is an opportunity for political actors, from all sides, to reaffirm and clearly demonstrate their commitment to the rule of law and respect for the highest European standards, including by avoiding inflammatory speech, fake news and discrimination.
We recognize the importance of free and independent media for democracy and encourage them to exercise their important role especially during election times in a professional and sober manner providing citizens with reliable information for their decisions at the ballot box.