The Fix is in - SEC orders revote in Tearce
Wednesday, 21 December 2016

The State Election Commission (SEC) decided Wednesday to repeat the voting process in polling station 2011 in Tearce municipality.

The decision comes after the commission's IT sector determined that the voting result could affect the distribution of the MP seats in the sixth election district of the December 11 parliamentary elections.

The SEC decision is based on Article 151, Paragraph 3 of the Electoral Code, which reads that the voting should be repeated if it can affect the end result. It also follows Tuesday's decision by the Administrative Court to accept the appeal by the SDSM-led coalition and scrap the voting in this polling station.

The revote is to be held on 25 December 2016.

The Tearce polling station has 714 registered voters, of whom 404 voted on December 11. VMRO-DPMNE got 91 votes, followed by SDSM-87, Besa-65, DPA-64, DUI-53, Alliance for Albanians-25, Coalition VMRO for Macedonia-1 and Coalition for Changes and Justice-1.

According to SEC's preliminary results for the sixth election district, DUI won most votes - 40,599, followed by VMRO-DPMNE (26,135), SDSM (25,828), Besa (25,054), Alliance for Albanians (17,970), DPA (16,225), VMRO for Macedonia (919) and Coalition for Changes and Justice (239).

The vote result gave DUI six MP seats, VMRO-DPMNE-4, SDSM and Besa-3 each, Alliance for Albanians and DPA-2 each.

The narrow margin between VMRO-DPMNE and SDSM (307 votes) in this election district means that the number of MP seats could change depending on the outcome of the vote.

Deputy Prime Minister and top VMRO-DPMNE official Nikola Todorov held a press conference on Tuesday evening to reject the decision of the Administrative Court.

"The math is clear. SDSM can steal VMRO-DPMNE's win at this polling station only through election engineering. If a certain number of voters are targeted to support SDSM instead of their original choices in the election, that would falsify the will of all the citizens who expressed themselves freely in the fair and democratic elections that were held on December 11th", Todorov said. He added that the party will remain firm in respecting its proclamation, which party leader Nikola Gruevski read on Saturday, as the State Electoral Commission was examining SDSM's complaints.

Gruevski then said that the party will not accept SEC decisions to repeat voting, given that there were no irregularities in the elections. According to VMRO-DPMNE, the SDSM and BESA complaints are only filed in order to give the voters another chance to change their minds and possibly even out the outcome between VMRO-DPMNE and SDSM in the elections to 50 seats for each party. Gruevski also said that diplomats are putting pressure on the SEC and the Administrative Court to deliver such a result and announced that VMRO-DPMNE would not participate in the repeated voting nor will it accept its outcome. According to the party proclamation, VMRO-DPMNE will also not allow the functioning of institutions who don't have the legitimacy of the citizens and will not allow redefining Macedonia towards the creation of cantons or a federal unit - issues which were raised by SDSM during the campaign and contributed to its unprecedented support among ethnic Albanians.

SDSM responded to Todorov's remarks with a press release. "On December 11th voters were in favor of change, for better lives, higher wages, strong domestic companies, returning the money to the citizens, institutions working in favor of the citizens and justice for all. More than 600.000 citizens said that there is no more room in politics for Gruevski, for crime and election rigging. Macedonia will have a Government of all its citizens. Democratic changes have begun and there is no going back", SDSM responded. The party computes all the votes that didn't go to VMRO-DPMNE in the elections as a vote against this party. VMRO-DPMNE won 454.000 votes and SDSM, with the boost it received from ethnic Albanian areas estimated at about 70.000, won a total of 436.000 votes. 


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