United Macedonians Organization of Canada Supports June 5th Elections in Macedonia

TORONTO, April 22, 2016 – The modern history of the Macedonian nation has been about surviving attempts of annihilation at the hands of foreign powers while always striving for freedom and independence. The United Macedonians Organization of Canada (UMOC) was formed by Macedonians from all parts of Macedonia as an embodiment of their aspirations for freedom and independence. Throughout its history the UMOC has always supported the Macedonian people, name, identity, history and heritage. These matters transcend party politics.

Today, Macedonia’s destiny again hangs in the balance because of destabilizing events threatening its existence. Everything that is happening in and around Macedonia is aimed at changing Macedonia’s name. The goal is to erase our sacred name from our conscious and take away our right to the history and glory of our sacred name Macedonia in order to give it away to another people; and ultimately, in an insidious manner to negate us as a nation and state.

The main political opposition party in Macedonia has become the instrument and willing accomplice of foreign powers seeking to destroy Macedonia. The opposition’s goal is to come to power without elections. Their methods include destabilizing state institutions, boycotting elections, pursuing vandalism and hooliganism in the streets. They have not offered any plan or vision for a better Macedonia.

In response, Macedonian citizens are coming out in increasingly large numbers across cities and towns to reject the destructive behaviour of the opposition. Citizens are calling for free and fair elections to be held on June 5, 2016 as the only way out of the country’s political and institutional crisis. Citizens are also calling upon foreign missions not to interfere with the sovereignty and integrity of Macedonia. The citizens of Macedonia will not allow the Ukraine scenario to unfold in their country. The UMOC fully supports these citizens.

Macedonia has proven time and time again that it is a capable and willing partner of the U.S. and E.U. For example, by accommodating over 300,000 refugees from Kosovo in 1999, by being one of the largest per capita contributors to Nato’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan since 2002, and by processing over 700,000 migrants from the Middle East and North Africa in 2015 largely at its own expense. These numbers equate to 30% of Macedonia’s population. On a per capita basis this is the equivalent of Western European countries having to process over 100 million migrants.

The elections of April 24, 2016 were agreed to in the Przino Agreement and signed by the four main political parties and the E.U. as the way to resolve the political and institutional crisis in Macedonia. The elections were postponed to June 5, 2016 because the opposition claimed that conditions for free and fair elections could not be met in time. These claims were proven untrue. The opposition party then used the delay to increase tensions in the country, pursue destructive behaviour and try to postpone elections yet again. In any case, conditions for free and fair elections on June 5, 2016 will be in place.

The overwhelming majority of citizens in Macedonia want the country to move forward. They do not want to be held hostage by co-opted prosecutors, manipulation, foreign intervention and election boycotts without end because these can only lead to the destruction of the state. This is why President Ivanov intervened in much the same way President Ford did in 1974.

Let us have no illusions; the U.S. and E.U. know what is in play and what is at stake in Macedonia. If the Przino Agreement has failed it is because the main opposition party is an unwilling partner. The E.U. experienced this first hand when the opposition party boycotted the meeting called by the E.U. for April 22, 2016 in Vienna in order to continue implementing the provisions of the Przino Agreement.

The best way for Macedonia to exit the political crisis is to hold elections scheduled for June 5, 2016, with or without the participation of the main opposition party. The best way for the U.S. and E.U. to help Macedonia resume its Euro-Atlantic path is to recognize the elections of June 5, 2016.

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