admin1 – July 7, 2006 – 2:20pm

The United States and the European Union gave a positive assessment of the elections in Macedonia yesterday. Their general comment was that these parliamentary elections were better than the previous elections and that they represent a significant step forward for Macedonia in the process for integration into the EU. They urged the authorities to implement the law and punish all those who provoked irregularities during the elections.

This is the collective assessment of the reactions of EU officials Javier Solana, Olli Rehn, and Erwan Fouere, and the US Embassy in Skopje. EU Ambassador to Macedonia Erwan Fouere said that Macedonia passed the test of organizing democratic elections and that the Macedonian citizens should be proud of this achievement.

Overall, the elections passed in a democratic atmosphere, with isolated irregularities. This is the preliminary conclusion of the international monitors from ODIHR/OSCE and the delegation of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe regarding the parliamentary elections in Macedonia that were held on 5 July.

"Election day was a peaceful day, with isolated serious incidents", ODIHR monitoring mission chief Audrey Glover said at yesterday's press conference. "Even though the elections generally met the standards of democratic elections, the incidents in the pre-election period cast a shadow on the campaign", Glover said. But she stressed that numerous improvements had been registered in the election process, which are a result of the implementation of the previous remarks.