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 You are in: Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs: Press Relations Office > Press Releases (Other) > 2005 > March
Taken Question
Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
March 30, 2005
Question Taken at March 30, 2005 Daily Press Briefing

Macedonian Municipal Elections (Taken Question)

Question:   Does the State Department have any comment on the recent elections in Macedonia, specifically on the way they were conducted?

Answer:   We fully concur with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe’s (OSCE) preliminary findings and conclusions regarding the second round of local elections in Macedonia on March 27. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe found that, despite some efforts, the Government of Macedonia failed to adequately address the shortcomings identified in the first round. Although the second round was generally well conducted and orderly in most parts of the country, it did not meet key Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe commitments guaranteeing universal and equal suffrage and ensuring ballot secrecy.

We are concerned that voting in a number of municipalities was marred by the same serious irregularities observed in the first round of voting on March 13. We call on the leaders of the political parties in those areas to condemn publicly the attempts by some supporters to weaken the democratic system by violating the electoral code. We also call on the responsible government authorities to investigate and prosecute those implicated in electoral violations. We urge the Government of Macedonia to heed the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe recommendations and to take immediate steps to bring its electoral laws and practices in line with Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe standards.

2005/363

Released on March 30, 2005

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