As a socially responsible organization, CIVIL has organized a series of debates on the census, starting in early December last year. As always, the organization acted “decentralized” in this topic, so it organized debates in other cities, such as Stip, Gostivar and Gevgelija.
A day after the agreement between the Prime Minister and leader of SDSM, Zoran Zaev and the leader of VMRO-DPMNE, Hristijan Mickoski, that the census be postponed to September, and pending confirmation of this agreement in the legislature of North Macedonia, CIVIL will hold another debate on the famous topic “Census: Statistics, not politics”, today, March 30, starting at 1 p.m.
So far, Apostol Simovski, director of the State Statistical Office, Professor Mirjana Najcevska, human rights expert, Slavjanka Petrovska, Member of Parliament and member of SDSM, and Ljupco Zikov, editor-in-chief of “Capital”, have confirmed their participation. The panel will be moderated by Xhabir Deralla, CIVIL. Unfortunately, VMRO-DPMNE did not respond to the numerous invitations to participate, although CIVIL always invites representatives of the opposition. VMRO-DPMNE participated in the debates in Shtip and Gostivar, and the opposition was represented through the representative of the Socialist Party at the debate in Gevgelija.
In accordance with the protection measures against Covid-19, the panel discussion will be held without an audience, but will be broadcast live on the Facebook page of CIVIL, and the contents resulting from the panel discussion will be published on the media platform of the organization in Macedonian, Albanian and English. Special videos will be posted on the CIVIL YouTube channel. As always, the newsrooms with which CIVIL cooperates are invited to download all media content with appropriate attribution and link.
The focus of the panel discussion, a day after the census process was postponed, is the need to separate politics from statistics. CIVIL continuously appeals to the political structures not to politicize the census, so that it can be conducted as a statistical operation, because it is. It is important for the public to be informed of what they can expect from the census process, the security protocols regarding Covid-19, whenever the census is conducted, and the significance of the census at the local and national level.
The panel discussion will last about an hour. During the discussion, the CIVIL team will follow the reactions and questions on the social networks and will convey some of them to the participants in the discussion.
The event is part of the Civic Lens project, funded by the US National Endowment for Democracy.