Macedonia votes in presidential and snap parliamentary elections on April 27
On April 27, citizens of Macedonia are to choose between two presidential candidates, Gjorge Ivanov from VMRO-DPMNE and Stevo Pendarovski from the Macedonian opposition, the Independent Balkan News Agency reports. In the first round of the presidential elections, Ivanov won 449 442 votes while Pendarovski won 326 164 votes.
Pendarovski has called on Albanians to support his candidacy. But, on the other hand, the largest Albanian party, BDI, has called on its voters not to vote any of the presidential candidates. This stance has also been articulated by other Albanian parties.
Macedonia’s State Election Commission (SEC) appealed for free and democratic elections and for people to be able to vote freely.
“We appeal for a quiet process and April 27 is a challenge for democracy in the country. We have made all preparations and we’re ready for Sunday’s polls,” said the chairman of SEC, Nikola Rilkovski.
The elections will also have a large number of international and domestic observers, 9197 domestic observers and 489 foreign observers, but this number is expected to be even higher due to the extension of their mandate to next week.
Deutsche Welle reports that though the economy has dominated the campaign, the opposition has sought to shift focus to a dispute with Greece over Macedonia‘s name. Since the country declared independence in 1991, its neighbour has argued that the name implies a territorial claim over a northern Greek province and insists that it be called the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, or FYROM, despite a ruling by a UN court to the contrary.
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