SKOPJE – The candidate of the ruling coalition in North Macedonia Stevo Pendarovski won the first presidential election in the country since it changed the name, reported the State Election Commission late on Sunday, reports Tanjug.
Pendarovski won over the opposition VMRO-DPMNE party’s candidate Gordana Siljanovska-Davkova with 51.85 per cent of the votes, while she won 44, 72 per cent.
According to the State Election Commission (DIK), the turnout was 44.55 per cent of the eligible voters. The census in North Macedonia is 40 per cent, and the possibility of a low turnout was the main worry of the ruling coalition.
There were around 3.300 domestic and 520 foreign observers who observed the election process. Sixty foreign correspondents and 289 accredited translators were present as well, Radio Free Europe reports.
Pendarovski pointed out that the outcome of these elections has cemented the path towards the EU and NATO and the developed countries where the country belongs.
Prime Minister of North Macedonia Zoran Zaev underlined that country had successful democratic elections and got a new president Stevo Pendarovski, N1 reports.
Siljanovska-Davkova: Opposition candidate won but I do not feel like a loser
After the elections finished, Gordana Siljanovska-Davkova said that the opposing candidate won but she was not feeling like a loser, Radio Free Europe states.
The President of Democratic Union for Integration Ali Ahmeti congratulated Pendarovski on his victory and said the victory is the triumph of consensual democracy.
Election headquarters of Democratic party of Albanians states that “the process of entering into NATO will enter in the final stage by the victory of the candidate of the ruling coalition”. In addition, it will end the Russian attempts to influence in the region, RSE reports.
European officials congratulated Pendarovski on electoral victory
European Commissioner Johannes Hahn congratulated 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 toward opening accession negotiations in June 2019”, Hahn wrote.
North Macedonia, as he said, can count on the EU support towards the country’s European perspective which is in line with the strong European aspiration of its citizens.
Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz also congratulated Pendarovski.
“Congratulations to president-elect Stevo Pendarovski of North Macedonia. We will continue to support your country’s path towards EU membership”, he wrote on Twitter.
Secretary-General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg also sent its congratulations to Stevo Pendarovski on winning the elections.
“Looking forward to working with you on welcoming North Macedonia as NATO’S 30th member”, Stoltenberg stated.