Reaction by 46 civil society organizations and initiatives
The outgoing Prime Minister of Republic of Macedonia, Nikola Gruevski, on Friday July 31, 2015 announced in the Parliament that his government intends to conduct a population Census. He said that by the end of the year the government will procure software that would enable electronic interlinking between the registers of different public institutions in order to implement the Census mainly electronically.
We, the undersigned, as civil society organizations and activists advocating and lobbying for conducting of a regular Census, consider this announcement by Gruevski as frivolous. It represents yet another manipulation and intentional distraction of the public and the citizens. Moreover, the planned “technical-technological” solution does not meet the criteria for conducting a realistic Population Census according to the international standards.
At the same time, we consider that the ruling government coalition has neither legitimacy nor credibility to conduct a Census, because it did not provide any kind of account about the reasons why the 2011 Census failed. The ruling government coalition did not take any responsibility for this colossal and serious failure. At the time, Gruevski gave a public statement claiming that the Government prevented a forgery, but till this day, the competent state institutions did nothing about it, and nobody has been charged for this alleged attempt of census forgery. Citizens are not only in a state of ignorance about why the 2011 Census failed, they also do not know how many millions of Euros have been siphoned from the state Budget for this failed operation. The only thing that is clear is that the reasons for the failure of 2011 Census are not technical, but that they have deep political background.
The fact that, during the last three years, the current government did not make any preparation for conducting a regular census, and the fact that the announcement for its realization comes at the time of start of implementation of June 2 Agreement, lead to conclusion that this is only a cheap propaganda attempt by Gruevski to draw the public attention from the chief priority issues.
These days, we also witness how Gruevski’s government, overnight and without any responsibility or seriousness, decided to end the process of lustration, and to withdraw the law on honorary workers.
This behavior by the government unequivocally indicates that is ready to do anything to sabotage the implementation of Przhino Agreement and doom it to failure.
Having all this in mind, we again point to the fact that the government of VMRO-DPMNE and DUI has no credibility to prepare and conduct any kind of population Census.
We remain consistent to our devotion to fulfilling the need for conducting a Census in Macedonia as soon as possible, but this has to be done by a government chosen through democratic and free elections, which can build up political will to count the population according to all international standards and regulations.
Signatories of the reaction:
- NGO Infocenter,
- Macedonian Center for European Training,
- Osmi Septemvri,
- Ajde – Platform for Civic Politics,
- Foundation Open Society – Macedonia,
- Helsinki Committee for Human Righs of Republic of Macedonia,
- CIVIL – Center for Freedom,
- Mojot Grad,
- Center for Contemporary Arts,
- Akcija Plus Resen,
- Center for Sustainable Community Development – Debar,
- Rural Coalition,
- Forum for Security Policies Research Sekuritas,
- Organization of Women Strumica,
- Kvantum Prima,
- Food Bank,
- Transparency Macedonia,
- Forum CSID,
- Journalists for Human Rights,
- Initiative Voice Prilep,
- Association for Aid of Socially Excluded Persons and Groups at Risk Skorpion,
- Youth Alliance Tetovo,
- Youth Cultural Center Bitola,
- Association for Culture and Art Scene (Scena),
- LGBTI Centar,
- Metamorphosis, Foundation for Internet and Society,
- Faculty for Things that Are not Learned,
- Freedom Square (Ploštad Sloboda),
- Civic initiative “I love GTC,”
- Internet Hotline Provider Macedonia,
- Center for Cultural Heritage
- Progress Institute
- Civic initiative Parkobrani [Park Defenders]
- Аssociation for Youth, Democracy and Human Rights UFUK
- Association Return the Smile