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Elections again?

About fifteen days ago, the Interior Ministry asked the Ministry of Justice to check the addresses of about 30,000 citizens in Skopje only, who are supposed not to live on the mentioned addresses or are living abroad. Minister Manevski asked in a written order his employees to check the lists sent by the Interior Ministry

The Ministry of Justice has started these days to prepare early elections to be held next September or by the middle of next November, FORUM finds out from sources in this Ministry. The sources point out that nobody in the Ministry is officially speaking about early elections yet, but it is already for sure that they will be held not later than by the end of this year and that the employed in this Ministry have been already mobilized for their preparations. We have found out that about fifteen days ago the Interior Ministry had asked the Ministry of Justice to check, in Skopje only, about 30,000 citizens suspected of not residing in the state and not living at the addresses written down on their identity cards or passports.

This is about a large number of citizens who are listed on the election lists and who can seriously affect the results of the elections.

FORUM came across the order signed by Minister Mihajlo Manevski in which he is asking his employees to check the persons from the lists delivered by the Interior Ministry. According to these documents, it has to do with three categories of people: Those without identity cards and with invalid passports, those without passports and with invalid identity cards, and those with invalid identity cards and invalid passports.

The order signed by Minister Manevski requests the employees to provide exact data about every person from the lists of the Interior Ministry and state the source of information for those data. The purpose of this action of the Ministry of Justice, according to our sources, was to check whether the persons from the lists live at the addresses they have given or not, and if not, for how long they have not been living there. So far a few thousand citizens have been checked from the lists of the Ministry of the Interior and for most of them it has been fund out that they are presently not living in the state. This was the result of the day-by-day check implemented by the employees of the Ministry of Justice. About fifty of them are strolling around Skopje every day going from door to door to check whether the persons live at the given addresses.

Sources of FORUM from this Ministry state that they have no legal rights to make checks and that only the Interior Ministry is authorized to ask for identification of the citizens and check their personal documents.

"These are strictly regulated authorities of the Interior Ministry. We have no legal rights or grounds to make such checks. It is not clear why we are doing this and how is it possible that the Interior Ministry has no insight in the importance of the personal documents of the citizens and whether they live at the given addresses or not. It is a fact that these citizens have been enlisted in the election lists and if they are not living in the country or if they do not live at the addresses as enlisted, their names can be easily manipulated during the elections," say sources of FORUM.

They emphasize that they do not have an official document to back upon when they are identifying the citizens and checking the information.

"We literally go from door to door, we identify ourselves as employees in the Ministry and we are asking for personal data of the citizens, without a written or any other official authorization for doing this," they explain.

They stated from the Ministry of Justice that this was a regular procedure before any elections.

"This is a procedure that we are making in conformity with the regulations of the Election Law and we are doing this every year," says Mirjana Ilievska, the Ministry's spokeswoman.

The Interior Ministry has no comments about the information.

There have been speculations in the public for some time now about the early elections that would purchase this Government an additional mandate of four years considering the present rating that it enjoys among the majority of the citizens. However, Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski has so far denied on several occasions that the Government is preparing early elections. Nevertheless, the situation in the field shows that nearly all the parties are preparing for elections. The opposition and SDSM leader Branko Crvenkovski are visiting, on a daily basis, the needing social groups in the Macedonian villages and towns. On the other side, the Prime Minister is constantly present in places where mayors from the VMRO-DPMNE are opening a new facility or road. Every Saturday the BDI leadership is working and having direct contacts with its electorate in villages and towns. The PDPSh is also preparing for early elections by informing the public on a daily basis about the changes in the staff of the party and inflow of new members.
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Title Annotation:EN "FORUM" 9 April, 2010
Author:Zafirovski, Emil
Publication:Weekly News Service
Date:Apr 9, 2010
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