In the sequel, we present the integral press release and reaction of the part of the civil sector to Nikola Grievski's statement regarding the census. This reaction is supported by the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights of the Republic of Macedonia.
“The Prime Minister in demission, Nikola Gruevski, announced on Friday in the Assembly that his Government intends to carry out census of the population, and that by the end of this year a software will have been procured which will allow for electronic linking of the Registry Office records, so that the census may to a large degree be carried out electronically. We, as civil organizations and activists who strive and lobby for conducting census in accordance with the rules, hold that this announcement of Gruevski is frivolous and stands for nothing but yet another manipulation and deliberate defocusing of the public's and the citizens' attention. Moreover so because of the fact that the suggested 'technical-technological' solution does not satisfy the criteria for conducting realistic census of the population, in accordance with the international standards. At the same time we hold that the present ruling coalition lacks both legitimacy and credibility to carry out census, because they failed to provide an account of the reasons for the failure of the 2011 census, and never accepted any responsibility for that huge and serious mistake of theirs. Gruevski addressed the public with the claim that the Government prevented a falsification, but even to this day neither the competent institutions have undertaken any measures, nor have anybody been found responsible for the attempt to falsify the census. The citizens are not only in the dark as for the reasons of the census' failure, but also do not know how many millions of euros were poured off from the national budget and into that failed operation. The only thing which remains clear is that the reasons for the census' fiasco are not of technical nature, but have deep political background. The fact that, in the last three years, the present Government has not made even the slightest preparations for conducting regular census, as well as the fact that the announcement of its projected realization comes in the moment when the implementation of the 2 June Accord has started, imposes the conclusion that this is nothing but Gruevski's cheap propaganda attempt to drag away the public's attention from the key priorities.
These days we also witness that Gruevski's Government, out of the blue and without any responsibility and seriousness adopted decision for cessation of the lustration process, as well as for withdrawal of the Law on free-lancers. This kind of behavior of the authorities unambiguously suggests the conclusion that they are ready to do everything within their power to undermine the implementation of the Przino Agreement and to condemn it to failure. Taking all of the aforesaid in consideration, we once again underline that the Government of VMRO-DPMNE and DUI has no credibility to organize and carry out any kind of census. We remain faithful to our stance that the census has to be realized as soon as possible, however, it should be conducted by a Government elected on fair and democratic elections, a Government which will build up political will for counting the population in accordance with all relevant international standards and regulations.”
Reaction of 46 civil organizations and initiatives:
NVO Infocenter, Macedonian Center for European Education, 8th of September, Ajde – Platform for Civil Politics, Open Society Foundation – Macedonia, Helsinki Committee for Human Rights, CIVIL, Paktis, Patokazi, Arsena, Mojot Grad, Kontrapunkt, Jadro, Center for Contemporary Arts, Justitia, MED, Izida, Akcija Plus Resen, Proficio, Forum CSID, CORZ Debar, Rural Coalition, Novus, Forum for Security Policy Research Securitas, Women's Organization Strumica, Kvantum Prima, Food Bank, Transparency Macedonia, Heathgrouper, Human Rights Journalists, Initiative Voice Prilep, Association for Helping Socially Excluded Persons and Risk Groups Scorpio, Youth Alliance Tetovo, MKC Bitola, Association for Culture and Art Scena, LGBTI Center, Metamorphosis, College for stuff that cannot be learned, Ploshtad Sloboda, Civil Initiative I love GTC, Internet Hotline Provider Macedonia, Center for Cultural Heritage, Progress Institute, Umbrella, AMAN, Parkobrani.