Triumphant Gruevski Cements Hold on Power in Macedonia with Election WinWorld | June 6, 2011, Monday // 02:34| views
Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski (L) and his wife Borkica greet supporters of the VMRO party after their victory in the parliamentary elections in Skopje. EPA/BGNES
Macedonia's ruling center-right party VMRO-DPMNE led by incumbent Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski has achieved an expected victory in the country's early parliamentary elections on Sunday.
Gruevski will remain the Prime Minister of Macedonia, while VMRO-DPMNE will lock at least 55 seats in the 123-member Macedonian Parliament.
"This victory is a great responsibility. We must now carry out everything that we promised," Gruevski stated upon declaring victory in the elections, as cited by BGNES.
He outlined as priorities for Macedonia the economy, agriculture, FDI, and creation of new jobs as well as reinvigorated efforts for joining NATO and the EU, fighting corruption and organized crime, and preserving the "good" inter-ethnic relations in the country, where the ethnic Albanians are between 20% and 40% of the population, according to different estimates.
The head of the opposition Social-Democratic Union of Macedonia (SDUM) Branko Crvenkovski described the results of the early elections – for which the SDUM had pushed for months – as a "great success" for his party, pointing out that the SDUM will now have 43 MPs, compared with 18 in the former parliament.
"The people is always right, even when it is wrong," said Crvenkovski, a former Prime Minister and President of Macedonia.
Gruevski has thus won his third parliamentary elections after the votes in 2006 and in 2008. He has been PM of Macedonia since 2006.
VMRO-DPMNE got about 40% of the votes vs. 32.6% for the opposition Social-Democratic Union of Macedonia, after counting 63.3% of the cast votes at about midnight local time (CET).
The ethnic Albanian party Democratic Union for Integration, which is in the ruling coalition with VMRO-DPMNE, led by Ali Ahmeti, received 10.58% of the votes. The other major ethnic Albanian party – Democratic Party of Albanians – led by Menduh Thaci, got 4.9%.
The National Democratic Revival Party has 2.61%, while the VMRO-People's Party led by former Macedonian Prime Minister Ljupco Georgievski got 2.59%.
Later results showed that after counting 82.6% of the votes, VMRO-DMPNE got 331 000 votes, the SDUM – 273 000, the Democratic Union for Integration – 88 000, the Democratic Party of Albanians – 45 000, the National Democratic Revival – 22 000, the VMRO-People's Party of former Macedonian PM Ljupco Georgievski – 21 500, New Democracy – 15 000, United for Macedonia – 12 500, Liberal Democratic Party – 11 500.
Sunday's parliamentary elections are the seventh in Macedonia's history since it declared independence in 1991.
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