U.S. Embassy Statement on October 2017 Municipal Elections

October 31, 2017

The U.S. Embassy commends the citizens of Macedonia who exercised their right to vote in the October 2017 municipal elections.

We welcome OSCE/ODIHR’s preliminary conclusions that the elections were competitive and that respect for fundamental freedoms contributed towards a democratic process.  These findings are consistent with what the U.S. Embassy teams observed in both the first and second rounds of elections.

Where there are concerns about irregularities and abuses, we again urge citizens to report them through the appropriate procedures and relevant authorities to address them promptly.  We also urge the State Election Commission and other relevant government bodies to use the period following this electoral process to address ODIHR’s recommendations following both the 2016 and 2017 elections.  This will strengthen future electoral processes.

Strong local government lays the foundation for a vibrant democracy.  We encourage the newly elected mayors and counselors to be open, responsive, and accountable to the citizens of their municipalities.  The Embassy looks forward to continuing our work with municipalities, organizations, and citizens to advance key reforms at the local level.