The census won’t be postponed, Prime Minister ZoranZaev said on Wednesday, calling on all nationals to take part in this statistical operation and fulfill their civic duty.
Postponing the process, he added, is useless, because, as he said, there’s no guarantee that the pandemic situation will improve by fall or next spring.
“The pandemic is an issue, but that doesn’t mean we should cancel the headcount. If we do, there’s election scheduled for the fall and no guarantee that next spring there will be less cases, so we all have to take responsibility. I’m calling on all nationals to take part in the process and fulfill their civic duty,” Zaev told reporters during a visit to Veles-based Brako company.
According to him, the law is clear and regulates responsibility, but duty towards the country is above all else.
“Therefore, I’m calling on all Macedonians, Albanians, Serbs, Roma people living in North Macedonia to take part in the headcount and prove love and responsibility towards the country. This statistical data will allow us to create successful policies. Our progress and the future of all citizens in North Macedonia depends on the census,” the PM noted, adding that calls to boycott and block the process don’t make anyone a patriot.
He called on the diaspora to take part in the census.According to Zaev, there’s plan in place in case census commissions get infected with the coronavirus.
“If a municipal census commission gets infected and cannot finish the headcount by April 21, the process can be prolonged by 14 days. If we postpone it for the fall or spring, we may be faced with another COVID-19 wave,” Prime Minister Zaev told reporters.
Macedonia’s Population and Housing Census 2021 is set to be conducted April 1-21. The headcount of the diaspora is ongoing, having started on March 1, and is set to end April 21.
Opposition party VMRO-DPMNE is asking for the census to be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, while other political structures and civil movements are calling for people to boycott the process. The previous census in the country was conducted in 2001.