Pendarovski: Postponing Elections for Few Months, Acceptable

According to President Stevo Pendarovski, campaigns could be conducted on social networks, however, as he said, there are categories of citizens who do not have access to social networks. “Besides, if the elections are postponed for a month or two, the world will still be here,” stated President Stevo Pendarovski at Friday’s press-conference, adding that any decision to postpone the elections should be made by consensus of all political parties. “According to all the recommendations by OSCE and the other organizations, citizens must be well and fully informed in order to be able to make their decisions on Election Day. I have reservations for Election Day. For our parliamentary elections, an average of one million people vote at 3,000 polling stations, with five members on the boards. The day before, a gigantic material transfer operation is conducted and the same is eventually returned to election commissions at the end of the day in order to calculate the results,” Pendarovski said. So far, he added, no such elections have been held in similar setting anywhere in the world, except in Israel, where the infected have cast their ballots at special polling stations, and even that had been done in a much smaller scale. Responding to a journalist question about the possibility of a state of emergency, the Head of State said the situation was unique and that there hasn’t been a case of holding elections during a declared pandemic. During the conference, Pendarovski also informed that the Spanish Senate will hold a plenary session on 17 March to ratify Macedonia’s NATO Accession Protocol. “Despite the situation in Spain which is extremely bad, because Spain is among the high-risk countries, they scheduled a Senate session on the 17th of this month which will also be streamed via video link and will have only one item on the agenda, which is the ratification of the Accession Protocol for our country to join the Alliance,” stated President Pendarovski, praising Spain for their solidarity in the view of the coronavirus situation. At the end of this month or the beginning of the next, Pendarovski pointed out, a similar event is planned at NATO headquarters where the Macedonian flag will be raised as the 30th member state, which is also depend on coronavirus conditions in Belgium. President Pendarovski also stated that according to the latest information received on Thursday and Friday morning, the coordination in Brussels regarding obtaining a date for EU accession talks with Macedonia is practically complete.