North Macedonia’s minister urges all parties to respect COVID-19 protocol measures during election campaign

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SKOPJE, June 16 (Xinhua) — All political parties in North Macedonia must respect COVID-19 protocol measures during the election campaign for the early parliamentary polls scheduled for July 15, Health Minister Venko Filipce stated on Tuesday.

Via a Facebook message, Filipce said that political party officials and party activists are obliged to be an example of continuous adherence to the measures.

“I expect all political parties to agree on the way of campaigning where full priority will be given only to activities that will not endanger the health of citizens,” Filipce said.

Filipce expressed his confidence that the election process can be safely organized for all participants.

According to him, a safe election process is possible if everyone adheres consistently to the clearly defined measures of the Infectious Diseases Commission.

On Monday evening, Parliament Speaker Talat Xhaferi said that he signed the decision amending the agreement on scheduling early elections on July 15.

“This year’s elections will be special as parties won’t hold typical election campaigns and citizens will have to adhere to the health safety measures and recommendations amid the COVID-19 situation,” Xhaferi said.

On Monday night, President Stevo Pendarovski announced the decision to declare a nationwide state of emergency for eight days starting from June 15.

“The decision to declare a state of emergency is to enable the smooth preparation of elections and especially the implementation of measures to protect public health during the election process, amid a coronavirus pandemic declared by the World Health Organization,” the president said.

Party leaders Zoran Zaev of the Social Democratic Union of Macedonia (SDSM) and Hristijan Mickoski of the VMRO-DPMNE reached an agreement on Monday on early parliamentary elections to be held on July 15.

As of Tuesday, the Health Ministry reported 134 new coronavirus cases, raising the total confirmed COVID-19 cases to 4,289, with 1,757 recoveries and 201 fatalities. Enditem

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