misko on Tue, 16 Nov 1999 17:39:48 +0100

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Syndicate: Subject: Fair or Fraud?

Presidential elections in MacedoniaFair or 
The second round of the Presidential elections in 
Macedonia, on Sunday 14th, raised questions of irregularities and possible 
election forgery, as it is already becoming customary in the countriesof 
South-East Europe.The difference seems at first glance pretty obvious as 
Boris Trajkovski, the candidate of the ruling party VMRO - DPMNE got around 
592,000 votes.Tito Petkovski, the candidate of the opposition Social 
Democratic Union of Macedonia got around 514,000 votes.The results are quite 
surprising as in the first round, with six candidates running for the 
position,Petkovski beat Trajkovski quite severely by around 112,000 
votes.Even in this final election round Petkovski wiped out Trajkovski in 
practically allof the counties where ethnic Macedonians are a 
majority.One other surprise of this second circle was a turnout of the 
voters at about 70 percent. This is especially interesting knowing that the 
leading officials in the "Democratic Alternative" of Vasil Tupurkovski,who 
turned third in the presidential race of the first circle, warned of 
irregularitiesin the first circle and said they would boycott the elections, 
practically turning their voters to that direction.
The Social Democrats accused that the elections in 
Western Macedonia, in the regions where the ethnic Albanians live,were 
completely falsified. They claimed that at over 200 polling places the election 
committees did not functionand that members of the election committees from 
the part of the Social Democratshad been forcefully been thrownout, so that 
the elections were conducted solelyby activists of the DPA (ethnic Albanian 
coalition partner of VMRO-DPMNE).They further on accused the DPA activists 
of simply putting ballots in the boxes without the presence of the 
voters.They supported this with the statement that according to the 
statistics the turnover of theAlbanian population was ranging from 90 
percent to 100 percent, which is astonishing.They also stated that Boris 
Trajkovski had received in the second round of elections more votesby the 
ethnic  Albanian electorate than Nedzipi and Halili, both of the Albanian 
candidates together, in the first round.
The election commission so far said that casted 
ballots outnumbered listed voters in five electoral units.
All this did not prevent the Prime Minister 
Georgievski to declare a victory of Boris Trajkovski late Sunday, even 
thoughthe State Election Committee will not issue official results until 
Thursday. VMRO_DPMNE continued with a celebrationlate Sunday evening on the 
streets in Skopje.
The Social Democrats responded with a massive 
protest meeting on Monday evening, saying that the victory proclamationof 
the Prime Minister is indecent, as it was obvious that the election results were 
To make it more interesting the leaders of the 
position and opposition, Georgievski and Crvenkovski,faced each other by 
a  TV duel on the Macedonian State Television(regarded by the 
Crvenkovski and the Social Democrats as a VMRO-DPMNE party television),where 
the issue of the falsifying the elections was raised by the Social Democrat 
anddenied by the VMRO-DPMNE president, who said that we can perhaps speak 
abouta few minor incidents but nothing of the level that the Social 
democrats are declaring.
The State Election Committee is to issue a 
statement with the official numbers on Thursday.
TV duels are to continue.