SELF-REGISTRATION TO RESOLVE ALL DILEMMAS REGARDING VOTERS’ LIST ACCURACY
MIC – March 20, 2014 – 1:37pm

Many proposals have been put forward as to how the best voters’ list could be compiled that nobody would dispute and consequently nobody would question the outcome of elections. One of them was for the State Election Commission to be directly responsible for the compilation of the voters’ lists instead of receiving a list from the State Statistical Office developed based on statistics from the Interior Ministry. Another proposal recently tabled was that all voters should register themselves for voting. However, despite all reforms, suggestions and efforts, the voters’ lists will most probably be one of the most burning issues in these elections too, considering political parties have again disputed its accuracy.

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Flash News
MIC – March 20, 2014 – 9:13am

- Macedonian Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki and Deputy PM Fatmir Besimi on Thursday are to pay a working visit to Brussels on Thursday to meet with European Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fule. According to announcements, the high-level accession dialogue will be discussed as well as the European integration process.

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BDI AND SDSM SUBMIT COMPLAINTS TO DIK CONCERNING ACCURACY OF VOTERS’ LIST
MIC – March 19, 2014 – 2:32pm

The Democratic Union of Integration (BDI) has filed a complaint to the State Election Commission (DIK) concerning the Macedonian citizens registered for vote at the Macedonian Embassy in Tirana, Albania. According to the voters’ list, BDI say, most of these 453 voters live on the same street address.

BDI demand that the addresses be checked and that the voters’ list be corrected in adherence with the election legislation. These people are said to have been reported as residents of the municipalities of Centar, Resen and Kicevo with collective addresses at each of which as many as about 40 people were registered.

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13 APRIL VOTE TO DECIDE OUTCOME OF PRESIDENTIAL AND GENERAL ELECTIONS ON 27 APRIL
MIC – March 18, 2014 – 3:23pm

In spite of the expectations that the presidential race will be overshadowed by the early parliamentary elections, political estimates are that the first round of the presidential elections set for 13 April in which only four candidates will be running for office will be decisive for the outcome of both the presidential and the early general elections two weeks later.

The results that Gjorge Ivanov from VMRO-DPMNE, Stevo Pendarovski from SDSM, Zoran Popovski from GROM and Ilijaz Halimi from PDSH score on 13 April are going to determine how the election story unfolds two weeks later. Estimates of both politicians and analysts is that a difference of 60,000-80,000in votes between the two presidential favorites – Ivanov and Pendarovski – could make the battle on the two fronts on 27 April very uncertain especially in view of VMRO-DPMNE’s intention of winning an absolute majority in Parliament.

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Flash News
MIC – March 13, 2014 – 9:15am

- Macedonian Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki met Wednesday with German counterpart Frank Walter-Steinmeier and briefed him about the ongoing reforms implemented by Macedonia, related to the EU integration. Poposki emphasized that he got a clear message from Steinmeier that Germany is keen to see Macedonia in the EU and this is Macedonia’s interest too.  Nevertheless, Minister Steinmeier has already said that Greece should not veto the accession of new members into the EU. Within the frames of the visit, Poposki held talks with the MPs in the German Bundestag.

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Flash News
MIC – March 12, 2014 – 9:33am

- Macedonian Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki during his visit to Germany is to hold a meeting with his German counterpart Frank Walter-Steinmeier and he will also deliver a speech in the European Commission of the German Bundestag.

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Flash News
MIC – March 10, 2014 – 9:52am

- Ambassador Gert Arens, Head of OSCE’s Monitoring Mission, on Monday in Skopje is to present the observers’ activities and with this the mission for the 13 April presidential elections will be officially opened. The mission is upon the demand of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and OSCE/ODIHR expects to get such an invitation for the early parliamentary elections as well.

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Flash News
MIC – March 7, 2014 – 9:18am

- The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe adopted a resolution for protection of the national minorities in Albania according to which the Macedonian language can be studied on the territory of Albania. The Committee of Ministers is still concerned over the fact that Albania has thus far not adopted a single law that refers to national minorities despite its engagement for EU membership.

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PARLIAMENT DISSOLVES, SPEAKER VELJANOSKI TO CALL EARLY ELECTIONS ON 27 APRIL
MIC – March 6, 2014 – 2:52pm

Without much debate, Macedonian MPs unanimously voted for the dissolution of Parliament Wednesday and for holding early parliamentary elections, the third successive early general elections since 2006. Parliament Speaker Trajko Veljanoski is expected Thursday to call the early elections for 27 April together with the second round of the presidential vote.

The speeches of the leaders of the parliamentary groups, who reiterated their well-known positions to whether it is necessary to hold early general elections in Macedonia, dominated the parliamentary debate Thursday. Speaker Veljanoski said after the vote that all 117 MPs voted for dissolution of Parliament and added he was convinced that during their two-year mandate the MPs succeeded in raising the country’s democratic capacity, which induced ironic remarks from the opposition MPs in the light of the parliamentary incident of 24 December 2012 when they were forced out of Parliament.

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DIK PRESIDENT CALLS FOR POLITICAL SOLUTION TO LEGISLATION ISSUES
MIC – March 4, 2014 – 2:51pm

Nikola Rilkovski, President of the State Election Commission (DIK), refused Monday to resolve the dilemma of whether on 12 and 13 April, during the presidential election silence, the campaign for the early parliamentary elections should continue uninterrupted. Although a month ago, he said that DIK was going to resolve all problems resulting from the simultaneous holding of presidential and early parliamentary elections on 27 April, he appealed at a press conference Monday that the issues arising from the overlap of the two election campaigns be resolved by the political parties by way of reaching a political deal.

He explained that DIK was just putting the election legislation into effect and that they had not yet received any official information that the early parliamentary elections would be held on the same day with the second round of the presidential poll—27 April.

In the meantime, Parliament Speaker Trajko Veljanoski scheduled the meeting at which the Parliament’s dissolution will be discussed at BDI’s request for Wednesday (5 March). He is expected to call the elections the following day.

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IVANOV, PENDAROVSKI, POPOVSKI AND HALIMI TO RUN FOR PRESIDENT, EARLY PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS TO BE HELD ON 27 APRIL
MIC – March 3, 2014 – 2:18pm

Sitting President Gjorge Ivanov is going to run for a second term in the presidential elections on 13 and 27 April. Of 1,236 delegates at VMRO-DPMNE’s convention which took place in Skopje on Saturday, 1,099 voted for Ivanov, 124 for Jove Kekenovski, 10 for former Prosecutor General Stavre Dzikov and one for Bozidar Nocev.

Shortly after the convention, Ivanov’s nomination was confirmed by over 20,000 signatures collected at the local offices of the State Election Commission.

In his address to the delegates, Ivanov spoke about the way he filled the office of president over the past five years and summed up his actions in the following five in 13 items provided that he won the election.

First and foremost, he said, he would support all activities aiming to ensure economic prosperity and political stability in Macedonia. Then he announced a clearly drawn red line in regard to the name issue.

“I will not accept any change to the Constitution with the purpose of changing the constitutional name of the Republic of Macedonia. I will not accept ideas and suggestions that would threaten the Macedonian national identity, the Macedonian language and the Macedonian model of coexistence,” Ivanov said.

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STEVO PENDAROVSKI TO RUN FOR PRESIDENT AS SDSM CANDIDATE
MIC – February 28, 2014 – 3:02pm

The executive committee of opposition SDSM held a meeting Thursday evening at which Stevo Pendarovski was proposed as the only candidate of SDSM for the presidential elections. Pendarovski’s nomination is expected to be confirmed Tuesday (4 March), first by SDSM’s central committee and then by the party congress.

Although he had been denying for a long time that he had tabled the idea with SDSM, in a statement for Press 24 Thursday, he confirmed he accepted the nomination.

“I was told I was proposed by all 76 municipal organizations and that I had been given the largest support compared to the other candidates. It is for this reason that I decided to accept the offer,” Pendarovski said.

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BDI TO CALL FOR EARLY PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS, PDSH PUTS UP ILIJAZ HALIMI AS PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE
MIC – February 27, 2014 – 2:15pm

If VMRO-DPMNE refutes BDI’s proposal for a consensual presidential candidate at its party convention Saturday, BDI is going to call for early parliamentary elections, BDI spokesman Bujar Osmani said at a press conference Wednesday.

“If VMRO-DPMNE make this decision official at their convention Saturday, it will mean they refuse our concept of consensual policy. We are then going to respond in the only way we know how – in a constructive and principled fashion. BDI is not going to put up a candidate for the coming presidential elections and is going to campaign instead for the concept it offered. We are going to appeal to Albanians not to support any candidate because none of them will represent their will,” Osmani said.

Osmani stressed that the process of political integration in the country had to continue with an increased participation from Albanians.

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Flash News
MIC – February 26, 2014 – 11:04am

-    President Gjorge Ivanov accepted the initiative signed by a large group of intellectuals and politicians and informed that he will submit his candidacy at VMRO-DPMNE’s convention for a second mandate. According to Ivanov, to be president of Macedonia means to always be honest towards your fellow citizens, to keep your word and dignity and champion solidarity, unity and democracy.

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IVANOV TO SUBMIT CANDIDATURE TO VMRO-DPMNE TUESDAY
MIC – February 25, 2014 – 3:24pm

Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov is said to have accepted the initiative for a new term of office as head of state signed by about 50 public figures including high-ranking VMRO-DPMNE officials, sources from among those who signed the petition in support of Ivanov’s presidential nomination told Dnevnik.

The petition in Ivanov’s support was signed Monday by numerous party officials, including MP and former Foreign Minister Antonio Milososki, Finance Minister Zoran Stavreski, Skopje Mayor Koce Trajanovski, Marjan Risteski, Aerodrom Mayor Ivica Koneski, Ohrid Mayor Nikola Bakraceski, Cair Mayor Biljana Belicanec, UJP (Public Revenue Office) Director Goran Trajkovski, etc.

In keeping with the party procedure, he is expected to submit his candidature to VMRO-DPMNE’s HQ in person on Tuesday whereby he would enter the race for the presidential nomination set for 1 March. Party sources confirmed Tuesday the initiative in support of Ivanov’s reelection and although they refused to say whether he is the favorite of the party race for the presidential nomination, bearing in mind who all signed the petition in his support, Ivanov is quite certain to win his second presidential nomination, Dnevnik comments.

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VMRO-DPMNE DENY THEY ARE INITIATORS OF PETITION SUPPORTING IVANOV
MIC – February 24, 2014 – 2:45pm

Similarly to what happened five years ago, Macedonian intellectuals, academics, professors, doctors, priests, artists and athletes signed a petition to be provided to the Convention of VMRO-DPMNE demanding that Gjorge Ivanov be nominated for president again, Utrinski vesnik reports.

Some of those initially cited to have signed the petition, including Vilma Trajkovska, late President Boris Trajkovski’s wife, and Velimir Stojkovski, Rector of the University of Ss Cyril and Methodius, told Telegraf.mk they did not sign the petition.

“Nobody consulted me. Most probably this is a mistake. Has my signature been abused? It is true I signed the petition in support of Ivanov’s election as president five years ago, but I did not sign it now,” Trajkovska said.

VMRO-DPMNE’s communication center confirmed Sunday they had received the initiative in support of current President Gjorge Ivanov. Sources from VMRO-DPMNE, however, say this initiative did not originate from the party.

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VENIZELOS SEES READINESS FOR DIALOGUE IN MACEDONIAN STATE LEADERSHIP
MIC – February 21, 2014 – 1:58pm

Following the series of meetings he held with the Macedonian state leadership in Skopje on Thursday, the Greek Foreign Minister and Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the EU, Evangelos Venizelos, left Macedonia with the impression that the Macedonian Government and society were willing to participate in a dialogue not only over the name issue but over promoting bilateral cooperation further.

“My personal impression following my 2-day meetings here is that the Government, the political authorities and the civil society are ready to participate in a dialogue not only over the name issue but also over promoting further bilateral cooperation because all here know that the way to the EU passes through Greece,” he said.

At the press conference he held at the EU Info Center on Thursday afternoon, Minister Venizelos said that he was not in Macedonia solely as a representative of a country holding the Presidency of the EU but also as a minister in the Greek Government.

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GREEK FM VENIZELOS REFUSES TO HOLD JOINT PRESS CONFERENCE WITH MACEDONIAN COUNTERPART
MIC – February 20, 2014 – 1:24pm

The name issue was tabled at the meeting between Macedonian Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki and his Greek counterpart Evangelos Venizelos during Venizelos’s visit to Skopje Thursday in the capacity of Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the EU.

“This is an issue that we need to discuss openly because we know it is the main obstacle on our path to the EU and NATO. However, I don’t believe the other side is dedicated to this issue enough so its resolution can move forward. We are definitely going to remain focused on what depends on us—conducting reforms to make Macedonia a better place to live and we are going to remain open for dialogue in any place, at any time and in any format,” Minister Poposki said after the meeting.

As to why Venizelos refused to hold a joint press conference with his Macedonian counterpart after their meeting, which has not been the case in the other countries he has so far visited, Minister Poposki said: “Perhaps he did not like the background” referring to the panel bearing the official name of the Republic of Macedonia and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in front of which the press conference should have been held.

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Flash News
MIC – February 19, 2014 – 11:43am

- There are no open issues between Macedonia and Austria and the two countries have been nourishing excellent relations, said Macedonian PM Nikola Gruevski and Austrian Chancellor Werner Faiman on Tuesday at the meeting in Vienna. PM Gruevski was assured that Austria will keep supporting Macedonia in all spheres, especially in the EU. Within the frames of his visit to Austria, PM Gruevski realized several meetings with interested investors and companies and agreed intensified cooperation with the Vienna General Hospital.

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RACE FOR VMRO-DPMNE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINATION BEGINS
MIC – February 18, 2014 – 2:20pm

All those interested in running for the presidential office as candidates of governing VMRO-DPMNE in the coming elections on 13 and 27 April, will be able to submit applications to the party headquarters from 18 to 26 February. The notice and all the conditions that a person needs to meet in order to qualify for a presidential candidate will be posted on VMRO-DPMNE’s website. The presidential candidate of VMRO-DPMNE will be elected by 1,300 delegates at the party convention to take place at the Universal Hall in Skopje on 1 March.

It is still uncertain whether VMRO-DPMNE is going to verify the nomination of its presidential candidate by way of collecting 10,000 signatures, for which they will only have two days left considering the deadline is 2 March, or the nomination will be verified with 30 MPs.

Everybody is entitled to run for VMRO-DPMNE’s presidential nomination without having to secure support from a certain number of delegates or some of the party bodies.

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Flash News
MIC – February 18, 2014 – 9:36am

PM Gruevski in the following three days is to pay a working visit to Austria and Germany where he will take part in forums for attracting foreign investments. Within the frames of his visit to Austria, Gruevski will meet with Austrian Chancellor Werner Faiman.

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Flash News
MIC – February 17, 2014 – 10:15am

- Greek Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos, during his visit to Macedonia on Thursday, except for the state leadership, is to hold meetings with leaders of SDSM and BDI. According to Macedonian Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki, during Venizelos’ visit, chances to discuss about the name dispute are slim.

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Flash News
MIC – February 13, 2014 – 9:52am

- NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen praised Macedonia’s progress and the large number of reforms adopted. At the meeting in Brussels with PM Nikola Gruevski, the two politicians discussed about the possibilities for the country to get a NATO invitation as soon as possible. Rasmussen admitted that Macedonia deserved to be a full-fledged member but added that the name issue remains the only obstacle. Gruevski stressed that Macedonia’s accession to NATO is well-deserved, based on arguments, and one that will bring benefit to both the country and the Alliance.

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MIJATOVIC: MACEDONIAN MEDIA LAWS – SOME OF THE BEST IN THE REGION
MIC – February 12, 2014 – 2:10pm

At the meeting of Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski with Dunja Mijatovic, the OSCE media representative, on Tuesday, according to the information from the government press service, a number of issues from the area of media were tabled. The Macedonian prime minister stressed the readiness and good will of the Government to continue contributing to the improvement of media standards, emphasizing in this regard that with the adoption of the law on media and the law on audio and audiovisual media services an important step forward was made.

In this way, the prime minister stressed, a number of areas have been closely defined and regulated. The primary task of the new laws, the prime minister explained, will be ensuring and encouraging the development of audio and audiovisual media services, as well as the development of the media sphere and the independent production, encouraging the culture of public dialogue for the purpose of protecting and encouraging creativity, freedom, as well as educational and scientific growth.

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Flash News
MIC – February 12, 2014 – 9:22am

- Next Thursday, Foreign Minister of Greece Evangelos Venizelos is to arrive in Skopje. His host, Minister Nikola Poposki, announces a discussion in which he will urge Greece to no longer hamper Macedonia in its Euro-integration. Minister Poposki had a tete-a-tete meeting Tuesday with Bulgarian counterpart Kristian Vigenin and the two diplomats came to an agreement Macedonia and Bulgaria to join forces in urging the European Commission to provide financial assistance for Corridor 8.

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Flash News
MIC – February 11, 2014 – 9:35am

- A group of 40 US congressmen sent a letter to the Secretary of State John Kerry asking for the NATO enlargement to be the priority of US and the Alliance and Kerry to support granting membership to Macedonia and Montenegro at the next NATO Summit in Great Britain in September. The lawmakers believe that joining NATO will strengthen the democratic institutions and the stability in the region.

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Flash News
MIC – February 10, 2014 – 10:57am

- The fact that the Macedonian Orthodox Church is outside of the family of canonic churches weakens its position, stated Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch HH Kiril at Sunday’s meeting in Moscow with Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov. According to him, it is very important to find a solution and therefore he is prepared to invest efforts in settlement of the Macedonian Orthodox Church-Ohrid Archbishopric canonic status. During his visit in Moscow, Ivanov will deliver a lecture at the Lomonosov Moscow State University, where he will be presented with the title Honorary Professor.

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Flash News
MIC – February 7, 2014 – 9:20am

- The European Parliament on Thursday with 486 votes “in favor” adopted the Resolution on Macedonia in which the European parliament once again urges the European Council to determine a date for start of Macedonia’s accession talks without further delay. MEP Richard Howitt, who drafted the resolution, urged Greece to use its EU Presidency and give the integration process a fresh stimulus. Howitt is proud that a consensus for the Electoral Code has been reached, that dialogue between journalists and the government has been established and   that the budget has been adopted in normal proceedings. Howitt also urged the European Union to award Macedonia with a functioning market economy status.

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Flash News
MIC – February 6, 2014 – 10:02am

- The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) signed Wednesday a memorandum of cooperation with the French embassy in Macedonia which will enhance the cooperation in the field of diplomatic education and participation of MFA candidates in training courses of the renowned French National School of Administration.

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BRUSSELS RESUMING DIALOGUE WITH MACEDONIA
MIC – February 5, 2014 – 1:59pm

Brussels is going to resume its dialogue with the Republic of Macedonia. To this effect, Christian Danielsson, Director General for Enlargement at the EC, for the first time since he took this office replacing Stefano Sannino, is going to pay a visit to Macedonia Thursday. He is set to meet Macedonia’s top officials and deliver a lecture at the University of Ss Cyril and Methodius in Skopje.

His visit to Macedonia was agreed upon during the last visit of Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki and Deputy Prime Minister for European Affairs Fatmir Besimi to Brussels when an overview was made of the reforms that the Macedonian Government undertook to carry out and of its response to the remarks and criticisms from Brussels, especially following the March agreement.

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