Ambassador Baily Statement to the Media

Thank you very much for waiting patiently here.  I am here in join today by my colleague from the European Union Mission, the Charge D’affaires, and by three Members of the European Parliament, Mr. Vajgl, Mr. Howitt and Mr. Kukan.  I want to thank them for all their efforts over these many, many months that we have been working on Macedonia’s political crisis.  I would just like to say at the top that the cooperation between the United States and the European Union has been a very important element in moving this forward.  That said, I’d like to say that we take good note this evening of the decision to move the early parliamentary elections to June 5.  If everyone works hard and everyone plays by the rules, we believe that these elections on June 5 can be credible and move the country forward to the end of its political crisis. Thank you very much.

Q: What if one of the political parties boycotts June 5 elections?

A: Speaking for the United States here and as many of you have heard from me many times, we believe that all political parties should participate in the electoral process.

Q: Mr. Gruevski says that he will not negotiate media reforms.  That is the main point this evening.  That was one of the points in the assessment.

A: Look. Media reform, freedom of media remains very, very important part of not only the electoral process, but the urgent reform priorities of the European Union.  I would say, just one last observation, how the media and how the media environment is judged is going to be judged by how all of you cover these very important elections.  You all have signed up to a code of ethics to cover elections.  And I think at the end of the day what is going to be the most important thing is how all of you do your jobs and help the Macedonian citizen be informed and hear the full diversity of views.  That is what an electoral process is all about.  Thank you very much.