Gjorgje Ivanov Becomes New Macedonian President

World | April 6, 2009, Monday // 09:50|  views

Gjorgje Ivanov is Macedonia's new President. Photo by cdn.wn.com

Conservative Gjorgje Ivanov has won the Presidential run-off in Macedonia, securing an overwhelming victory in Sunday's elections.

With 80% of ballots counted, Ivanov the candidate of the governing VMRO-DPMNE party had secured almost two-thirds of the vote over his Social Democratic SDSM rival Ljubomir Frckoski, who has conceded defeat.

Turn-out was put at about 42%, just over the 40% threshold needed for the polls to be valid. Some 1.8M people were eligible to vote in the election.

Voting passed peacefully, despite fears of violence which could have harmed Macedonia's ambitions to join the European Union and Nato, the BBC reported.

A parliamentary vote last year was marred by violence, with one person being shot dead and several others wounded in an ethnic Albanian area.

The president serves a five-year term in a role that is largely ceremonial.

In the first round of voting, Ivanov polled the most votes, but not enough for an outright victory.

Acknowledging his run-off win, he said improving ties with Greece would be a priority.

Last year, Greece said it would block Macedonia from joining NATO and the EU unless it compromised over its official name. Macedonia is also the name of a northern region of Greece.

In December 2008, Macedonia decided to take the issue of its name to the International Court of Justice in The Hague.


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More information about Macedonia's new President George Ivanov Please READ HERE

Tags: Macedonia elections, president, Gjorgje Ivanov, VMRO-DPMNE, Ljubomir Frckoski, SDSM


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