Census law passed, opposition accuses of abuse

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Parliament’s Committee on European Affairs on Thursday in first reading passed the draft law on census of the population, households and apartments in the Republic of North Macedonia before forwarding it to other parliamentary bodies for consideration. The laws paves the way for a census to be organized in 2021.

Calling the law necessary, opposition MPs who are part of the committee said they would file amendments to improve the law’s text so as to eliminate ways to “politicize” the statistical operation.

Ruling MPs said it was premature to give the much-needed process qualifications, stressing the last time a census was organized in the country was some twenty years ago.

Elaborating the census bill before the Parliament committee, Deputy Justice Minister AgimNuhiu said that the nationals of the Republic of North Macedonia living or residing in the country will be counted regardless of whether at the moment they are in the country or abroad.

The personal data of the nationals working or residing abroad will be provided by an adult over 18 who knows them the most. Those working and residing abroad will be allowed to take part in the census via an app on the State Statistical Office’s website from March 1 until April 21, 2021.

Under the Parliament’s Rules of Procedures, debates on the census bill at the Committee on European Affairs can take up to three days.

The country held its first census in 1948. The last one was held in 2002 after eight censuses.

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