The Parliament is set to resume debate on the highly controversial census law this afternoon. The opposition VMRO-DPMNE party said that the law will count all citizens, even those who moved out long ago, and not actual residents, and that the results are pre-arranged between the ruling SDSM and DUI parties.

SDSM continues to force the law through Parliament and wants a forged census. We can’t trust a census in which the ruling majority rejected all opposition proposals. A census without security, where people will simply cite identity numbers as identification, is not done anywhere in the world, the opposition party said in a press release.

Ethnic Albanian parties demanded, and Zoran Zaev’s SDSM party agreed, to have long term emigrants counted along with the residents. At core is the demand by Albanian parties, who community has a very high emigration rate, to bolster the numbers of ethnic Albanians in Macedonia, which brings political clout but also opens the door to electoral irregularities.

VMRO-DPMNE demanded security measures such as using fingerprint devices by the census teams, but this was rejected by SDSM and DUI. In response, VMRO announced it will begin a process to nullify the law, if it is adopted in the Parliament.