Ohrid still hasn’t gotten an indoor pool

Bakračeski promised in 2013, but the pool’s construction began in 2015. Photo: Print screen



Project: Construction of one indoor swimming pool

Description: With this project we will construct one indoor swimming pool according to international water polo standards, i.e. with dimensions 33 m – 25 m. It will meet the needs of the swimming clubs and will be used for training of the school-aged youth in swimming sports, as well as for sport recreation of the citizens of the Municipality of Ohrid. (Funding sources: Budget of the Republic of Macedonia, Deadline: 2013 – 2017)



“Construction of an indoor swimming pool” was promised by Ohrid’s mayor, Nikola Bakračeski in the local elections in 2013. In his Election program “New accomplishments for new progress, new accomplishments for better Ohrid” (in the Sport and Youth section, page 25) it is stated that such pool will be constructed in the period 2013 – 2017. The indoor swimming pool is among the priority projects in Bakračeski’s Election program (page 11) where it is said that “For sport’s development sake, we will immediately start the construction of an indoor pool in Ohrid”, (excerpt from the Election program’s introduction, page 10). Yet, pool’s construction began with two years’ delay (in November 2015) and it is still underway. Therefore, we deem this election promise as partially fulfilled.

As a matter of fact, this is a project that VMRO-DPMNE has promised several times. Six years ago, in November 2011, the government adopted a decision on construction of an indoor pool in Ohrid. The pool was supposed to be constructed by the Youth and Sports Agency. As it was announced back then, the indoor pool was to be built within the Sports and Recreation Ground “Atina Bojadži”, with state budget funds.

However, the pool hadn’t been built until the elections in 2013, and this promise of VMRO-DPMNE was transferred to Bakračeski’s Election program, the then candidate for mayor of Ohrid from the coalition “For Better Macedonia” led by VMRO-DPMNE. The indoor pool was one of the main promises in his election campaign, during which he was categorically stating  that right after the election he will “start the construction of the long awaited indoor Olympic pool in Ohrid”.

Immediately after I become the mayor, we shall begin the construction of the long promised indoor Olympic pool, constructed in accordance with all international standards, 33 by 25 meters, which will reincarnate the sports that Ohrid was known for – swimming and water polo. We will continue the tradition of our forefathers in these sports, and we will allow evolvement and promotion of talented young people. We will contribute toward development of town’s sport spirit, healthy habits, and at the same time, the pool will be the place where citizens will go in for sports and will hang out. (Bakračeski – 6 March 2013)

Although the “indoor swimming pool” was proclaimed a priority, this project didn’t see the light of the day until the snap parliamentary elections in 2014. Back then (April 2014) Truthmeter conducted an analysis on the fulfilment of this election promise and assessed it as unfulfilled.

The construction of the indoor pool at the Sports and Recreation Ground “Biljana’s Springs” in Ohrid began at the end of 2015. The setting of the foundation stone was attended by VMRO-DPMNE’s leader, Nikola Gruevski (the then PM), Ohrid’s mayor, Nikola Bakračeski and Youth and Sport Agency’s director Marjan Spaseski. According to the media, Gruevski then stated:

The construction of the indoor pool is one of the decades-old requests of Ohrid’s citizens, and it has been subject of various political manipulations and speculations over the years. Many people had promised, many people would’ve built this pool, but the reality is such. Our biggest town on Lake Ohrid, the town with huge number of swimmers and water sports lovers, has never had an indoor swimming pool. This reality is finally changing. We promised, and unlike others, we didn’t forget what we promised. A promise is a promise, and we hold on to it. That’s what makes us recognizable.

On 23 July 2016, during VMRO-DPMNE’s leader, Nikola Gruevski, visit to Ohrid, Youth and Sports Agency’s director Spaseski informed that the construction of the indoor pool is in “advanced realization phase” and the pool’s construction is expected to be completed by the middle of 2018.

We are working intensively on this project. We are tamponing the upper layer of the base. We had some problems, unpredicted construction works, problems with underground waters, but we have surmounted them and we are working intensively. According to the current dynamics, we expect that in two years, i.e. until the middle of 2018, Ohrid will get a capital sports edifice that will mean a lot, both to the town and the country, as well. This is the first indoor pool in the country built after 30 years, the Youth and Sport Agency’s director (Spaseski) stated

Additionally, more than a month ago (18 February 2017), a video (which includes Ohrid’s mayor web site address) showing the ongoing construction works on the indoor pool was uploaded on YouTube.

Therefore, owing to the fact that there have been concrete steps toward the realization of the project – the construction is underway and the grandstand is being erected, and according to Truthmeter’s methodology, although Bakračeski’s term is about to end, we assess this promise as partially fulfilled.




Assessed by: Jugoslava Dukovska



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This article was created within the framework of the Project to increase the accountability of the politicians and political parties Truthmeter implemented by Metamorphosis. The article is made possible by the generous support of the National Endowment for Democracy(NED) and The Balkan Trust for Democracy (BTD), a project of the German Marshall Fund of the United States, an initiative that supports democracy, good governance, and Euroatlantic integration in Southeastern Europe. The content is the responsibility of its author and does not necessarily reflect the views of Metamorphosis, National Endowment for Democracy, the Balkan Trust for Democracy, the German Marshall Fund of the United States, or its partners.

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