Macedonia must postpone elections and the President must resign
Issued by Transparency International Secretariat
Transparency International, the global anti-corruption movement, and its chapter in Macedonia call for the resignation of President Gjorge Ivanov and for the 5 June elections to be postponed until the electoral registers can be verified in an effort to limit the widespread corruption that is paralysing the country.
Macedonians are taking to the streets to protest blatant moves by the president to grant amnesty to the former Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski and other members of the government who are implicated in what is known as the ‘wire-tapping’ scandal.
When Gruevski was prime minister he allegedly had the secret service, headed by his cousin, tap the phones of more than 20,000 people. Leaks appear to show members of Gruevski’s government were allegedly engaged in electoral fraud, corruption and covering up details of controversial deaths.
“In order for the rule of law to once again be respected in Macedonia and for free and fair elections to take place, we strongly believe that the president should resign and the elections postponed until the electoral lists can be verified. Macedonia is facing a grand corruption crisis,” said José Ugaz, chair of Transparency International.
“We stand with the people who are on the streets protesting. We have all had enough of corruption in Macedonia. Those who are found guilty of corruption must be held to account, not be given amnesties even before an investigation by the courts,” said Slagjana Taseva, Chair of TI Macedonia.
Transparency International defines grand corruption as the abuse of high-level power that benefits the few at the expense of the many and causes serious and widespread harm to individuals and society. It often goes unpunished.
This definition applies to what is going on in Macedonia. Despite calls from the US and European Union the president has yet to rescind the amnesties.
Students have been daubing public sites with paint in protest and the movement is being calling “the colourful revolution.”
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