October 19, 2011 – Washington, D.C. and Perth, Australia – The United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD) endorses the Republic of Macedonia’s decision to suspend the 2011 Macedonian Census, and appeals to the government to bring criminal charges against those involved in breaking the Census laws. UMD also urges the government to organize a new Census campaign as soon as an accurate and fair result can be ensured.
Macedonian media have reported widespread falsifications of census data, including the illegal use of photocopied documents. Such criminal activity was found to be particularly widespread in regions with a relatively higher ethnic Albanian population.
“Macedonia cannot allow anyone to hijack the rule of law with false documents. The 2002 Census results showed a suspiciously dramatic increase in the reported number of ethnic Albanians in Macedonia, so an accurate census is absolutely essential now, as it would most likely confirm that the ethnic Albanian population is far lower than current estimates,” said UMD Australia-based Board Member Dame Krcoski.
UMD Chairman Stojan Nikolov added: “In Albania, ethnic Macedonians who declare themselves on the Albanian census are subject to a 1,000 Euro fine from Tirana. The Bulgarian government has falsified its census against Macedonians for decades, and the large Macedonian minority in Greece officially “does not exist” according to Greek authorities. Meanwhile, in Macedonia, the dynamic is reversed. Domestic political forces are counting cousins from Kosovo or Switzerland, who have no relation to the Macedonian state, to artificially increase the size of the Albanian minority community.”
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