By Liljana Pecova Ilieska (IMPETUS: Center for Internet, Development and Good Governance)
In North Macedonia parliamentary elections took place between 13th and 15th July: voting of the Covid-19 patients and those in self-isolation starting on Monday, the sick, weak and convicted people voted on Tuesday, while Wednesday, for all other citizens, 15th of April was the D-day.
15 political parties and coalitions, and 1,578 candidates were in the race for a parliamentary mandate. Of the total number 675 or 42.78 percent were women candidates, while 903 or 57.22 percent were men.
Who thinks that won?
The coalition “We can” led by SDSM (having BESA, VMRO NP) in the new parliament will have 46 MPs, the coalition led by VMRO-DPMNE – 44, DUI 15, Alliance for Albanians and Alternative 12, Left party -2 and DPA – 1, shows the simulation of the State Election Commission based on initial Unofficial results from yesterday’s snap parliamentary elections from 3,421 processed out of a total of 3,480 polling stations. The other nine parties and coalitions participating in the elections did not win a parliamentary seat.
The SDSM coalition has the most votes with 324,084 or 36.12 percent, ahead of the VMRO-DPMNE coalition with 312,745 votes or 34.85 percent, DUI 101,432 or 11.3 %, Alliance for Albanians and Alternative 76,425 or 8.57&, Left Party 37,057 or 4.16%, and DPA – 13,553 or 1.52&.
The initial results of the elections are still only occasionally visible on the website of the State Election Commission, which fell last night due to, as the head of the commission Oliver Derkovski said, external big hacking attacks. The SEC announced that today, after collecting and processing all received materials, it will announce the initial results of the elections and the distribution of parliamentary seats.
In the tenth parliamentary elections, which lasted for three days in the current conditions of the current coronavirus pandemic, the right to vote was exercised by about 923 thousand citizens or approximately 51% of the registered voters in the Voters’ List.
Not to mention the cyber-attacks of several websites of institutions, news aggregator, media, and the State Election Committees’ web site, this was the most dramatic election ever. Even with not having the official results, the parties are celebrating their victory.
And who ACTUALLY won?
if we compare these results and the MP seats in the last Parliamentary elections the chart looks like this:
If we check the situation and number of voters in the last Parliamentarian elections in 2016, the Coalition led by SDSM had 436.981 votes and the Coalition of VMRO-DPMNE had 454.577 votes, DUI had 86.796 votes. The Alliance for the Albanians in 2016 had 35.121 votes, and now it doubled its strength.
There are almost 100.000 voters lost from the Macedonian biggest parties and increase in the Albanian block led by DUI and Alliance for Albanians.
The Left- party MP seats speaks a lot of the left oriented narrative in the Program/Manifesto, but total opposite discourse presented by the Leader in the last period.
VMRO-DPMNE says has won the larger number of municipalities where prior SDSM was leading.
However, it is with no doubt that the right wing won and the deep nationalism led by different parties, either campaigning for Albanian prime minister, diminishing the Prespa Agreement, or simply a punishment for the name issues last year and no justice provided from the special public prosecutor criminal charges. Huge political party polarization process was installed several months before, but very clear and loud was three weeks before the campaign: hate speech, nationalism on all levels, division of the people on urban/rural, ethnical, gender, sexual orientation…
Some named it “black campaign” since there were constantly published bombs, as they name them, wiretapped phone calls (old and new ones) from different political party leaders and officials. The social media was the place to pulse measurement. Was that the real reason behind non-voting, apathy from the Macedonian block?!
Although, the Social Democratic Union declared victory in yesterday’s elections, together with the Coalition and this should be officially confirmed by the State Election Commission today, yet the Macedonian block voted mostly “against”, then pro some political option.
It was a dead race between SDSM and VMRO, but something else raised from the dead.
The success of the Albanians who secured even 32 seats (altogether with BESA) in the new parliament is the “the new reality”.
The first elections in a pandemic, but democratic and fair, by respecting the protocols, but with “undermined legal certainty” as ODIHR stated.
If the Coalition of #WeCan – SDSM receives the Mandate to form a Government has to ally with all other parties to secure 61, if they want to put away VMRO-DPMNE and DUI, which surprisingly enough is total 61. But then again, or funny how things are mathematically correct, if SDSM wants to ally with DUI it is again ideal 61.
There are rumors also that VMRO-DPMNE is going to revamp and call of its leader position, which may be another dramatic step to present ‘integrity” in the process, and there is a very strong persona’s statement just few hours early today from Mr. Mitko Jancev, who is the only VMRO-DPMNE mayor that supported SDSM’s led Neighborhood Agreement with Bulgaria and Prespa Agreement. He is today calling upon reform in VMRO-DPMNE. Having in mind also the rhetoric by VMRO-DPMNE today that they are winners since they have won even without broad coalition as SDSM, the questions arises again> Who they are trying to get in front and strengthen the Party image? If that is so, it is a deep scenario with great planning, or it is a waity-katie moment?!
After the parliament is established, the big cards would be in the hands in the President. Will he make a smart move or party move?!
Uncertainty goes only in the Macedonian block. The Albanians have the real reason to stay and party in this Party System. If someone does not make a stronger move and change the electoral system by the very next parliamentary elections, very soon.