Reactions to 2021 Population Census Results Continue

President Stevo Pendarovski welcomed the successful organisation of the 2021 Population Census by the State Statistical Office (SSO) and its results. “The fact that we succeeded to conduct this complex statistical operation after 20 years is a success by itself. We conducted a census, which followed all regulations and good practices applied in Europe. Of course, things in the Balkans cannot be done without a controversy, and this time we have 7.2% of the citizens who have not been enumerated during this operation. This is the result of the calls for boycott of the Census,” Pendarovski said. SDSM MP Bogdanka Kuzeska said that the Census was a major success for the country, and that the European Commission and other relevant factors have welcomed its successful implementation. GROM MP Ljupco Prendzov on the other hand, said that the Census is incomplete since 7.2% of the citizens have not been properly enumerated. “This is over 130,000 citizens we are talking about, of whose ethnicity, mother language and religion we now have no data whatsoever. The government must immediately organise croups of field agents that would go to enumerate these people and add them to the final statistics,” Prendzov said. From Besa they used the Census results as a motif to level criticism at DUI. “The results reveal that with Dui in power Albanians keep on migrating from their motherland to other countries. We believe that the fact that this entire operation was conducted in secrecy, i.e. the results were counted and calculated away from the eyes of the public, that this entire operation was just a haggle between SDSM and DUI for securing their political positions in power and in our society,” said Arjanit Hoxha from Besa. DUI Leader Ali Ahmeti called upon politicians and political parties and organisations to not turn the Population Census into an inter-ethnic struggle. “Even in the most developed countries there are around 10% of the citizens that are not enumerated during operations like these. So, I think that debates about the ethnicity of those not enumerated will lead us nowhere, and the entire battle about this is only for certain political parties and figures to score minor political points among their supporters,” Ahmeti said, adding that having in mind the new data, Albanian should be registered as a language on constitutional level.