Original title: EU AND OSCE APPALLED? You will not believe what offenses happen in polling stations!On July 15, 2020 the portal Mkdpress.site published a clickbait article, which headlined a manipulative claim that the EU and the OSCE were appalled by the irregularities taking place at polling stations.
The link to the original article can be found here.
The published article is a clickbait which states a manipulation that the EU and the OSCE are surprised and appalled by the violations that happen at the polling stations. The assertion stated does not correspond to the published data in the content of the text, that is, the assertion stated in the title is not supported by any fact.
The F2N2 team checked the official profiles on Twitter and Facebook and on the websites where the OSCE and the EU usually express their views. There was no reaction that could confirm the veracity of the statement made in the title of the text.
Additionally, the next day on July 16, 2020, the OSCE/ODIHR, the EU and the US Embassy clearly and unequivocally stated that the elections were well managed and went without problems, in accordance with the recommendations and protocols for the protection of citizens’ health in the event of a pandemic.
The OSCE/ODIHR international OSCErvers noted that “this is a very challenging time to be holding elections, and we recognize the authorities’ efforts to adapt to the new circumstances. Election day itself went smoothly despite some technical challenges with the reporting of results.”
The US Embassy in Skopje, in a written statement, stated that it “recognizes the tremendous efforts of local election officials who ensured that, despite the ongoing pandemic, elections were organized with every effort to protect the health of both the voters and members of polling center staff and OSCErvers.” The US Embassy considers that “as the first general election held in North Macedonia since joining NATO and being invited to commence EU accession negotiations earlier this year, these elections represent an important step for democracy.”
The Joint Statement by HR/VP Josep Borrell and Neighbourhood and Enlargement Commissioner Olivér Várhelyi on the early parliamentary elections in North Macedonia reads as follows:
“According to the preliminary findings and conclusions of the international observers from the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), the elections were generally well run amid adjustments in response to the pandemic and the campaign was genuinely competitive… The European Union will continue to support North Macedonia on its path to the EU and looks forward to holding the first Intergovernmental Conference as soon as possible….“
The published article is a clickbait, in which manipulative claims are made that the EU and the OSCE are surprised by the election manipulations at the polling stations. The statement is not supported by an official position. Placed manipulation can contribute to the misinformation of the public, creating the impression that there are irregularities that call into question the credibility of the election process.
The F2N2 team assesses this article as manipulative, sensationalistic and unprofessional.
This project was funded in part through a U.S. Embassy grant. The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed herein are those of the implementers/authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Government.