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The electoral system – serious source of crises in Macedonia

In its current state, the electoral system is a serious source of crises in the Republic of Macedonia. This is the general conclusion of Metamorphosis Foundation’s research conducted within the framework of a regional project on assessing the fulfillment of political criteria for Western Balkan countries’ EU accession.

The research, based on previously developed and precise methodology and interviews with experts, has shown that the electoral system in Macedonia ought to alter a number of things – change of the model of six constituencies into one, from changing the manner of forming the electoral roll to changes in the media and elections area, which forms part of the electoral legislation.

The entire research is available here (in Macedonian).

Recommendations arising from the research:

  • Change of the electoral model – one instead of six constituencies and open lists, with an adequate electoral threshold attainable by the smaller parties or independent candidates;
  • Change of the manner of registering the voters in the Electoral roll;
  • Strengthening and specifying a penal policy for pressure over voters as well as clientelism;
  • Strengthening and specifying a penal policy for abuse of state resources and administrative capacities for electoral campaigns;
  • Strengthening the penal provisions and fines for financing campaigns i.e. the drafting of financial reports;
  • Strengthening SEC’s (State Election Commission) capacities and transforming it into a professional or mixed (professional and political) body;
  • Strengthening and specifying the laws and bylaws that guarantee the transparency of the electoral process, particularly in terms of complaints;
  • Finalizing the legal framework concerning media’s obligations during elections, shortening the time for airing paid political campaigns as well as new evaluation that would stem from a public debate on the use of public money in media.

This is the first research out of five planned within the Western Balkans and the EU Accession process: Application of Political Criteria regional project, implemented by the Center for Democratic Transition from Podgorica, Montenegro. The next papers will cover the judicial reforms, fight against organized crime and corruption, media sector reform and the public administration reform.

The project is supported by the Embassy of the Kingdom of Norway in Belgrade and the Balkan Trust for Democracy, a project of the German Marshal Fund of the USA.

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