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Ethnic Games and Migration

Unlike the other censuses, Albanians were strongly committ ed to register because so many of the rights they demanded were tied to gaining a specifi c numerical threshold.17 The census-taking form was available in six languages, Macedonian, Albanian, Turkish, Vlach, Romani, and Serbian. The census process was monitored by 50 experts from all EU countries. Ultimately, the census results were recognized by all coalition partners in the government as the basis for negotiation. According to the 2002 census results, Ethnic Composition of the Republic of Macedonia is shown below: Table 2: Ethnic Composition of the Republic of Macedonia, 200218 POPULATION Macedonians 64.2% 1,297,981 Albanians 25.2% 509,083 Turks 3.9% 77,959 Romas 2.6% 53,879 Vlachs 0.5% 9,695 Serbs 1.8% 35,939 Bosniacs 0.8% 17,018 Others 1.0 % 20,993 TOTAL 100% 2,022,547 ii. Population Census in 2011 (Postponed and Cancelled) The census in 2011, which initially scheduled for April, was postponed until October due to early elections in June 2011. The census lasted for 10 days, and it was canceled upon the resignation of all members of the State Census Commission. One of the main disputes during the cancelled census was over whether the headcount should include people who had been absent from the country for over one year. Albanian political parties claimed the Macedonian majority on the census commission would create an artifi cially reduced number of Albanians, since many ethnic Albanians live abroad during summer. Macedonian parties for their part argued that the census was being falsifi ed in Albanian-dominated areas in order to exaggerate the true number of Albanians. According to Lulzim Haziri, Executive Director of the Association for Democratic Initiatives (ADI), the postponement of the census is also aff ected by the continued emigration of the population, mainly Albanian population, as well as a signifi cant number of Roma population lacking personal documents.19 Donco Gerasimovski, former head of the SSO, explained the methodological problem of the census