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SEC will have to adjust, says Derkoski on changes to election-related decree

About 20 per cent of the polling stations have been adjusted in order bigger premises to be secured on election day. In the meantime, the law is respected, meaning they are less than three kilometres away in urban areas and less than five in rural areas, said Oliver Derkovski, President of the State Election Commission.

Skopje, 23 June 2020 (MIA) – About 20 per cent of the polling stations have been adjusted in order bigger premises to be secured on election day. In the meantime, the law is respected, meaning they are less than three kilometres away in urban areas and less than five in rural areas, said Oliver Derkovski, President of the State Election Commission (SEC).

He told TV Telma’s Top Tema political show on Tuesday that efforts are being made to secure as many polling stations as possible that are big enough and ventilated. “Some 3,000 polling stations will be adapted to the conditions.” Derkovski said.

He said that special electoral boards with at least three health workers and party officials will be set up to enable people in self-isolation to exercise their right to vote on election day. They will have to register the same as the sick and frail to vote ahead of election day.

“The number of people self-isolating most probably will drop soon. They have to register by July 8, which is seven days before the July 15 election day. Active cases of infections would be an issue – at the moment there are some 3,000. We have the capacity, but it would mean that board members will have to work very hard, they would have to change their personal protective equipment every time they leave the home of an infected person,” Derkovski said urging PPEs for electoral board members to be provided as soon as possible. “We are talking about nearly 35,000 people.”

Regarding the latest amendments to the election-related decree with the force of law, adopted yesterday by the government, the Commission’s head said ‘it’s not fair to make last-minute changes.’

According to Derkovski, the main principle for fair approach and equal treatment of all participants in the process has been violated.

“It could affect the process overall,” he said. “However, the State Election Commission will have to adjust and I will have to make sure the process is completed.”

The changes to the decree regulate rules for paid political advertising during the campaign and the rules on how budget funds for ads should be distributed according to the Electoral Code.

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