Presidential race heads to a second round

Presidential race heads to a second round

IBNA Special Report on the presidential elections in FYR Macedonia

By Naser Pajaziti

Presidential candidate of VMRO-DPMNE, George Ivanov has received the highest number of votes in the first round of the presidential elections in the country.

On the second round of the elections on April 27, Ivanov will face his rival, the candidate of the opposition party Macedonian Social Democratic League (LSDM), Stevo Pendarovski.

The preliminary results announced in the early hours of Monday 14.04, by the State Election Commission indicate the current president, Ivanov, who is running for a second term in office, has received 25,30% of the votes.

The other candidate, Pendarovski, a university professor, was ranked second with 18,30% of the votes. On the third place is the only Albanian candidate from the Albanian Democratic Party (PDSH), Iljaz Halimi with 1,77% of the votes.

On the fourth place is Zoran Popovski from GROM who won 1,77 of the votes.

The head of the Central Election Commission, Nikola Rilkovski declared that the participation of voters has been 48,90%. He said that the elections were quiet and democratic.

“The elections were quiet and democratic, without incidents and they didn’t damage the image of the voting process. SEC has done its job and the first official results will be announced within the deadline”, said Rilkovski.

According to the Electoral Code, in order for these elections to be valid, there should have been a 40% participation in the elections.

The second race will be held in two weeks time on April 27, as none of the candidates didn’t manage to win over 50% of the votes. The second round of the presidential elections will be held along with the early parliamentary elections, where a strong race between political parties is expected to take place.

Messages of the candidates on the election result

VMRO-DPMNE candidate, George Ivanov announced his victory in the first round of the presidential elections.

He said that the citizens chose the best offer and the person who will continue to work for their future.

“Today, the citizens chose our concept, the concept of reforms and kept promises, the concept of team work for the best interest of Macedonia, the concept of honesty, patriotism, reforms and new jobs”, said Ivanov.

“Citizens know how to make the difference by not choosing insults that we had to receive”, said he.

“I’m convinced on a second victory in the second  round of the elections on April 27 and I’m also convinced on a victory in the parliamentary elections where we will win 62 seats”, said Ivanov among others.

In a joint press conference with the leader of Macedonian opposition, Zoran Zaev, LSDM presidential nominee, Stevo Pendarovski thanked all the citizens that voted for him. He promised that the fight is not over yet.

According to Pendarovski, the number of votes received by him in comparison to Ivanov does not come as a result of the lack of qualities or the party’s structure.

“I’m determined to be faithful to my concept and idea and I hope that in the second round, the citizens will vote this concept even in such circumstances of oppression”, said Pendarovski.

The only Albanian candidate, Iljaz Halimi from PDSH has thanked the voters that supported him.

He said that the majority of Albanian voters were under pressure not to vote, by heeding the calls of the other Albanian party, Democratic Union for Integration (BDI) to boycott the elections.

“Nevertheless, we’ve had a quiet electoral process and as a party, we passed the test”, said Halimi.

The candidate of GROM, Zoran Popovski thanked voters for the 20 thousand received votes.

Meanwhile, the leader of this party, Stevco Jakimovski said that his political subject remains a key player in the second round of the presidential race and the early parliamentary elections which will be held on April 27.

Comments on the results were also issued by the Democratic Union for Integration (BDI), which invited voters to abstain in these elections. According to BDI, this form of boycott resulted to be successful.

“Today, Albanians showed national maturity by saying no to a unilateral president. Our Albanian opponent PDSH won less than 10% of the votes of the Albanians and this shows that their idea failed. Our idea resulted to be a national idea and Albanians joined around this idea”, said the spokesman of BDI, Bujar Osmani. According to him, BDI remains the winning option for Albanians. Therefore, said he, BDI doesn’t withdraw from this idea, waiting to mark other victories in the early parliamentary elections of April 27. /ibna/