Social democrat candidate, Stevo Pendarovski has claimed victory last night after the announcement of the official results of presidential elections in North Macedonia.
“This victory belongs to the majority of people in the Republic of North Macedonia, who, regardless of their ethnicity, decided to join forces and move forward”, Pendarovski said.
Prime Minister and leader of SDSM, Zoran Zaev said that the election result showed that the country has chosen the path of integration in the NATO and EU.
“Along with the president, we remain committed in our priorities to become a NATO member, to launch accession talks with the EU and put an end to domestic divisions”, Zaev said.
According to Pendarovski, the election result shows that the majority of people in the country support the Prespa agreement and the country’s Euro-Atlantic integration path.
On the other hand, VMRO-DPMNE’s leader, Hristijan Mickoski said that the elections were rigged.
“We saw irregularities, blackmail, intimidation and pressure. This government knows that it has failed”, Mickoski said.
According to him, the government will now face a political hell.
Opposition’s backed candidate, Gordana Siljanovska-Davkova admitted defeat, but she has not congratulated her opponent, Stevo Pendarovski on the victory.
“Numbers indicate a defeat. It’s not a good feeling to be defeated, but I have never felt this calm”, Siljanovska said.
According to the State Election Commission, the government backed candidate took 51,66% of the votes, while the opposition’s candidate took 44,73% of the votes.
Pendarovski receives messages of congratulation
Social democrat candidate, Stevo Pendarovski has received numerous messages of congratulation on his election as president. The first one to congratulate him was Albanian president, Ilir Meta, who wrote:
“I would like to congratulate Stevo Pendarovski on his election as president of North Macedonia. I’m confident that our countries will have an excellent cooperation in the future and that the Euro-Atlantic perspective of the region will strengthen”, Meta wrote on Facebook.
EU Enlargement Commissioner, Johannes Hahn has also congratulated Stevo Pendarovksi on his election.
“Congratulations to Stevo Pendarovski on his election as President of the Republic of North Macedonia. I look forward to the continued cooperation on the EU reform agenda in view of last year’s Council Conclusions setting the path towards opening accession negotiations in June 2019”, Hahn wrote on Twitter.
NATO’s Secretary General also sent a message for North Macedonia’s president elect.
“Congratulations to Stevo Pendarovski on winning the presidential elections. Looking forward to working with you on welcoming North Macedonia as NATO’s 30th member”, Stoltenberg wrote on Twitter.
Who is the new president of North Macedonia?
Stevo Pendarovski was born on 3 April 1963 in Skopje. Pendarovski is a distinguish politician, professor and analyst. He also ran for the 2014 presidential elections, but was defeated by current president Gjorge Ivanov, who was backed by the then ruling party VMRO-DPMNE.
Pendarovski has had a long career at the Ministry of Interior. Afterwards, he has worked in president Boris Trajkovski’s cabinet as chief of national security and adviser for foreign policy. He continued to remain in this post during Branko Crvenkovski’s term in office.
In the December 2016 elections, he was elected as SDSM’s MP. On 7 December 2017, Pendarovski resigned as MP and was appointed national coordinator for NATO. /ibna/