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The Network for Protection against Discrimination appeals to the Parliament of the Republic of North Macedonia to elect the new composition of the Commission for Prevention and Protection against Discrimination (CPPAD) before the early parliamentary elections.

The second call for candidates was published in the Official Gazette on 14 December 2019, and the deadline for applications expired on 13 January 2020. With the Parliament dissolving on 11 February 2020, there is still the possibility of electing the new CPPAD if MPs act effectively and prioritize this issue.

We would like to remind that reforming the system of prevention and protection against discrimination was a pre-election promise of this Government, which has not yet been fulfilled. First, the adoption of the new Law on Prevention and Protection against Discrimination was prolonged for more than 10 months. Furthermore, the election of the new composition of the Commission for Prevention and Protection against Discrimination is being further prolonged for more than 6 months now. Because of all these failings of the Parliament, the Network for Protection against Discrimination, together with more than 100 associations and networks, organized press conferences and protests in front of the Parliament.

The Parliament is legally obliged to select the composition of the CPPAD and thereby enable the final implementation of the Law on Prevention and Protection against Discrimination. As of August 2019, the Commission for Protection against Discrimination has not been operational and citizens cannot turn to this body for cases of discrimination. The Commission for Prevention and Protection against Discrimination, in accordance with its legal competences, is a key body that should contribute to the promotion of equality of all citizens. We remind that equality is a constitutionally guaranteed right of all citizens, as well as an obligation for institutions.

We demand that the Committee on Election and Appointment Issues meet urgently to elect members of the Committee for Prevention and Protection against Discrimination, convene a public hearing and conduct a transparent process of election of members.

We demand that the biographies of all registered members be publicly disclosed and that the Parliament allow civil associations to freely monitor the process.

We also remind that one of the key remarks of CSOs and the international public regarding the Commission for Protection against Discrimination was the lack of professionalism and independence of its members. Therefore, we seek to select candidates with the best professional resumes that are not affiliated with any political party in any way.