18December2017

Ambassador Baily delivers Lecture on fighting Corruption

05122017 4

During Monday’s lecture on the topic of fighting corruption, held before students and professors at the Faculty of Security, U.S. Ambassador Jess Baily underlined the importance of respecting the rule of law. “All of you should in the future avoid corruption, respecting the rule of law, avoiding nepotism, guided by the laws,” he stated. During the lecture, the Ambassador criticised the State Election Commission (SEC) members for voting through a bonus for them totalling additional nine wages - five for the 2016 parliamentary elections and four for the 2017 local polls. He said: “The State Election Commission is an independent agency. Perhaps, this action was even legal. But the vote took place behind closed doors, out of the public eye. And for an agency with many needs, what does that say about leadership priorities. Most importantly, why am I raising this? What does it say about the values of the organisation itself?” As Baily added, everything detected as a weakness of the previous government should be overcome by the current one. Judicial reforms, freedom of speech, tackling corruption, establishment of the rule of law and improvement of the relations with neighbouring countries is what will help Macedonia very much on the road to the EU and NATO, according to him. He described the name talks with Greece as a positive move and said he hoped meetings would be held soon. “All of us admit that leaving Macedonia outside of NATO, which has never been a policy of ours, brings obvious risks towards the country and towards the region. We are working hard on that thing in order to make a region of stability, prosperity and democracy and we want Macedonia to progress towards that,” the Ambassador underlined. Answering questions, Baily said, among other things, that the U.S. was engaged in both Macedonia and the Balkans, adding that it was true strong engagement of his country in the region.

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