1999 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS
IN THE REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA
(October, 7 1999)
In regard to statements made in the Macedonian mass media, with respect to the alleged support by RAINBOW, of presidential candidate, Tito Petkovski, "by Father Nikodimos Tsarknias, leader of RAINBOW..." The organization of Macedonians in Greece, RAINBOW, wishes to state clearly that it does not support any of the presidential candidates in Macedonia.
RAINBOW, in accordance with its principles and the political philosophy of its membership, has brought forth the struggle to obtain basic minority rights for the Macedonian ethnic minority living in Greece. We endeavour to bring this about through internal activities in Greece and within the international community among relevant institutions and organisations engaged in the pursuit of human rights, because only in this way can the Macedonians in Greece succeed in obtaining their minority rights as respected in democratic European countries.
RAINBOW has never interfered, nor does it have any intention of interfering, in the electoral race in Macedonia. The election of president, or of any official in the Republic of Macedonia, is for the citizens to decide. RAINBOW cannot support any candidate in the electoral race in Macedonia, because to do so would be against the principles of the organisation.
For the Macedonians in Greece it is not important who succeeds Mr. Kiro Gligorov in the position of "President of the State," or which party will form the next government. What matters to the Macedonians in Greece, and, we believe, to the Macedonians in neighbouring states as well as in the Diaspora, is for the Republic of Macedonia to follow the path of European integration for the good, not only of the Macedonians but for all of its citizens.
Concerning Father Nikodimos Tsarknias, and his appearance as a leader of RAINBOW, he is not, nor has he ever been a member of RAINBOW.
With this announcement we reiterate that RAINBOW functions on a collective basis (with a Secretariat of 5 members and a Central Committee of 19 members). There never has been, nor is there, a leader or president. This is part of the organisational principles of RAINBOW.