In line with the local elections in Macedonia, The Young European Federalists (JEF) Macedonia, organized a political debate with the mayoral candidates in the city of Kumanovo. This was one of JEF Macedonia’s first big public events and the idea behind it was to be educational, to present a model of political debate and to open the democratic dialogue among candidates and citizens of Kumanovo.
The debate involved 4 out of the 7 candidates for the mayor of Kumanovo: Zoran Damjanovski (SDSM) Zoran Georgievski (VMRO DPMNE), Viktor Cvetkovski (Independent Candidate) and Fatri Saliu (RDK). The topics which the candidates discussed were – Economics, Infrastructure and Social inclusion of certain demographic groups.
The two hour event gathered representatives of local NGOs, of the youth council, of the American and the German embassies, of the media, and Peter Erhardy from OSCE (Organization for security and Co-operation in Europe), who said a few encouraging words in the beginning to the debate.
Each candidate had two minutes to debate their position, after which were questions and follow-up. The audience was highly motivated to ask questions and get into debates with the candidates. They raised questions about the economic developments of the Kumanovo region, infrastructure improvements, education, etc. The highlight of the debate was the discussion about opportunities of young people where representatives of the local youth council of Kumanovo, CID, and other youth NGOs demanded more budgetary and institutional support of young people in Kumanovo.
It was a great start to, hopefully, a new era for the political dialogue in Macedonia.
The event of JEF Macedonia was supported by the Center for Intercultural Dialogue as part of the CID Capacity