North Macedonia gets a new president

After last week’s good result in Spain, the centre-left notched up another win yesterday with the second round of the presidential election in North Macedonia.

Incumbent Gjorge Ivanov, from the centre-right opposition party VMRO-DPMNE, was prevented by term limits from running again (see my report on the first round here). The runoff saw the centre-right’s Gordana Siljanovska-Davkova up against Stevo Pendarovski, from the governing Social Democrats.

As expected, the votes from ethnic Albanian candidate Blerim Reka – eliminated in the first round – flowed mostly to Pendarovski, giving him a clear victory. Official results show him with 53.6% of the vote, a lead of almost 60,000 over Siljanovska-Davkova.

That’s good news for prime minister Zoran Zaev, but it’s also good news for the peace of Europe, since a win for the opposition would have been a vote against last year’s agreement with Greece, which changed the country’s name and paved the way towards membership of NATO and the European Union.

Turnout was a modest 46.7%, up five points on the first round.

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