Thursday, 14 December 2017 | News today: 14

SEC rejects final SDSM appeal, process moves to the Administrative Court

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The State Electoral Commission (SEC) did not reach the necessary majority on Saturday evening to accept the final of the 16 complaints submitted by the SDSM and BESA parties after the early general elections. This final complaint was submitted by SDSM, for a polling station in the village of Tearce, where while ripping the paper ballot a committee member accidentally tore off a piece of paper that was supposed to remain with the commission.

In the end, the SEC had 4 votes in favor and 4 against, not enough to accept the proposal. SDSM appointed members of the SEC and two affiliated independent members voted in favor of the proposal, while VMRO-DPMNE appointed membres, one independent member and the DPA member were against. The DUI appointed member of the SEC who could have made the deciding call, abstained from voting.

In the end, out of 16 complaints, the SEC accepted only one, submitted by the BESA party for a polling station in Gostivar where a woman was not allowed to vote because she had apparently already voted. Parties can submit appeals to the Administrative Court, which will have 48 hours to decide whether to accept them or not.

The entire process passed in tense atmosphere, given the narrow margin of VMRO-DPMNE victory, which has 51 projected seats in Parliament, to SDSM’s 49. VMRO-DPMNE organized protests in front of the SEC warning the commission against attempts to take away their victory with frivolous complaints, and party leader Nikola Gruevski spoke to his supporters on Saturday afternoon.

We have information that foreign representatives were involved in the work of the SEC, with a goal to influence members to conduct post-election engineering and falsifying of the will of the citizens. Some of the independent members of the SEC are not independent at all. The Administrative Court can correct any unlawful decision made by the SEC. If the Administrative Court also succumbs to outside influences and confirms these unlawful decisions, which would take away VMRO-DPMNE’s victory and which would falsify the freely expressed will of the people, VMRO-DPMNE will not participate in this repeated voting, and we will not accept its outcome”, Gruevski said.