IBNA Special Report/Presidential elections take place in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Over 1,7 million voters were called to vote in 3480 ballot centers. Ballot centers were open from 7 am to 7 pm/ The preliminary official results are announced in the early hours of Monday (14.04), while the final ones 24 hours after the closing of voting process
By Naser Pajaziti
Skopje, April 13, 2014/Independent Balkan News Agency
Presidential elections in former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia closed this Sunday (14.04) at 7 pm. 50% of eligible voters participated in these elections. Official information on the participation is expected to be issued in a few hours. Officially, the State Election Commission declared that participation from 7 am to 5 pm was 41%.
Biljana Jovanovska, spokeswoman of SEC referred to the information from 89% of voting centers all over the country.
A high number of participation has been registered in Kratova with over 60% of participation, while the smallest participation of 3,7% was registered in Likova.
Election officials said that the elections were quiet, in spite of some small technical issues.
Vice chairman of State Election Commission, Subi Jakupi declared for IBNA that the electoral process was normal and that all ballot centers opened in time. “The process was normal and there were no irregularities or incidents which could have an impact on the process”, declared Jakupi a few hours before voting closed.
The spokesman of the Ministry of Interior too, Ivo Kotevski said that the elections were quiet and democratic.
“According to the information that we’ve received from regional police staffs, the electoral process is quiet, without incidents and without any serious irregularities”, said Kotevski.
Some NGOs have reported several incidents and small irregularities which have not had an impact on the overall electoral process. The complaints mainly consisted on unlawful propaganda by several political parties.
An incident was reported during the course of the day in Shutka, Skopje, where the vice chairwoman of the largest opposition party, Macedonian Social Democratic League (LSDM), Radmila Sekerinska was attacked by the Roma League (Sojuz na Romi na Makedonija) MP, Amdi Bajram and his son, Elvis Bajram, who is the mayor of this commune in Skopje.
Citizens voted for 4 presidential nominees, three Macedonian and an Albanian one: George Ivanov from VMRO-DPMNE who is running for a second mandate, Stevo Pendarovski from the Macedonian opposition, Iljaz Halimi from the Albanian Democratic Party and the only Albanian candidate, and also Zoran Popovski from GROM party.
The next president will be the candidate who will win the majority of votes from the total number of voters. If none of them is unable to win the majority, then 14 days later, on April 27, there will be a second round of elections which will see a race between the two candidates who have won the largest number of votes.
Early parliamentary elections will also be held on April 27.
Today’s elections are being monitored by a large number of domestic and foreign observers. According to the State Election Commission (SEC), 9.155 domestic observers and 489 foreign observers, the majority of which from ODIHR/OSCE, have been registered.
This year, it’s the first time that presidential elections also take place in the Diaspora, where 8.300 people interested to participate in these elections have voted yesterday.
So far, there have been 4 presidential elections in FYR Macedonia, in 1994, 1999, 2004 and 2009.
These elections have been boycotted from the Albanian party of VMRO-DPMNE in the government, Democratic Union for Integration (BDI), because its idea for the president to be an acceptable candidacy from Albanians and Macedonians was not accepted.
The preliminary results are expected to be published in the early hours of Monday (14.04), while the final ones at least 24 hours after the voting is closed. Some non official polls are expected to be published on Sunday evening.
The candidates speak
Ivanov: After the elections, let us work for the prosperity of the country
Presidential nominee of VMRO-DPMNE, current president George Ivanov said on Sunday that he’s expecting these elections to be successful and that the country must show that it functions with all the credibility and capacity that it has.
“After the elections, we expect to fulfill our strategic goals and work for the prosperity of the country”, said Ivanov.
Halimi: The elections went quietly
The only Albanian presidential candidate, Iljaz Halimi said that the elections were quiet and that the citizens voted freely and in a democratic way. “Like I’ve said during the electoral campaign, there are chances to make it to the second round and the citizens must vote”, said Halimi after his voting in Tetovo.
Pendarovski: The elections were democratic
Presidential nominee from the Macedonian opposition, Stevo Pendarovski said that he’s hoping for the elections to be considered as democratic.
“I sincerely hope that Macedonia will be finally prepared to hold elections which meet the standards of a European democratic country”, said Pendarovski. /ibna/