Zaev recruited the relatives of ethnic albanian drug traffickers serving multi-year sentences and promised them their relatives will be quickly freed if the SDS wins the elections. As a result, many of these people were pressuring other ethnic albanians in their communities to vote for SDS – says Shpetim Polozhani, the president of an organization calling itself “political prisoners” in Macedonia.
In an interview with Shenja, Polozhani says the heirs of the Macedonian communists were very good in manipulating communities.
-The last parliamentary elections, the heirs of the Macedonian communists SDSM did a great deal of manipulations against albanians. SDSM, along with their albanian tools used the evident apathy among the Albanian electorate caused by two parliamentary parties, DUI and DPA. And on account of this apathy, encouraged with bribes created a situation for albanians to vote for them. I have recorded several cases where SDSM promised albanian families that if they vote for them would free their relatives from various criminal charges, of course if they came to power. The fact that SDSM has most Albanian votes in rural areas, where people are more easily controlled/bribed is expected – says Poplozhani.
– SDSM took albanian votes with a classic manipulation, and this is not news. They promised the families of prisoners to release them from prison if you vote for SDSM, he explained.
-My question is, how is it possible to free prisoners who have committed serious crimes, asks Polozhani.
Citing a classic example, Polozhani says: “A parent goes from house to house to beg for votes, allegedly this will free his son out of prison who has been sentenced to 12 years for having 15 kg of cocaine in his car. Of course he will not be freed, it’s ridiculous. But SDSM targeted these families with false promises.”
– People are rather quickly realizing this were all empty promises and will switch their votes back to DUI and DPA. They know they were taken for a ride. Similarly to the albanians who were promised they don’t have to pay utilities if they voted for SDSM. Now that their utilities were turned off, they realized the level of nonsense Zaev sold them before the elections – says Polozhani.