Local Elections are being Held in North Macedonia

Southeast Europe | October 17, 2021, Sunday // 11:13|  views


Local elections will be held today in the neighboring Republic of North Macedonia, a BGNES reported.

1,824,864 people have the right to vote. 301 candidates are running for mayor and 10,600 for municipal councilors. Twelve candidates are running for mayor of the capital, Skopje. The second round of elections will take place on October 31.

The battle in the Macedonian bloc is being fought between Prime Minister Zoran Zaev's ruling Social Democratic Union (SDSM) and Hristian Mickoski's opposition VMRO-DPMNE. During the election campaign, Zaev repeatedly said that "together they have put an end to the "regime", gone through hardships and rebuilt the institutions." According to him, "the government has extended a hand to its neighbors, the country has become a member of NATO and has a clear European path and a successful census has been carried out."

"RNM is the safest country in the Western Balkans. Here we have the most transparent government, where people speak freely," said Zoran Zaev. The SDSM leader said that "in these elections, the most important thing is for the country to move forward, instead of falling into isolation again", as was the case during the escape of former Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski to Hungary.

During the election campaign, the leader of the opposition VMRO-DPMNE made serious allegations of "corruption and mafiaization of the state by Zoran Zaev and his entourage. "These elections will be decided by a silent majority. From the citizens, whose voice is not heard in the media or in the squares, and this is the voice of the disappointed and desperate," Mickoski said. According to him, "on October 17, RNM will vote for a new future."

In the Albanian bloc, SDSM's coalition partner, Ali Ahmeti's Democratic Union for Integration, emerges as the most likely winner among Albanians.

Ali Ahmeti again bet on the "Albanian map". In the election, he said, "one day the country will have an Albanian president." In that spirit, the current mayor of Tetovo and candidate for a new term, Teuta Arifi, called it "the first Albanian city", and Deputy Prime Minister Artan Grubi described Tetovo as the capital of the Albanians. According to him, "there is nothing that Tetovo will ask for and the government in Skopje will not give."

Relations with Bulgaria were often the subject of the election campaign this time as well. While Zaev in his style "promises and believes in a quick solution to the disputes between the two countries", for the opposition leader the current dispute was the occasion for a fierce anti-Bulgarian campaign and accusations against Sofia. At the beginning of the election campaign, he even called for a unilateral withdrawal from the Friendship Agreement, concluded on August 1, 2017.

And this time the most active in the hatred against Bulgaria was the former Foreign Minister and current Deputy Prime Minister Nikola Dimitrov, who said that "Bulgaria cannot be called a friendly country."


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Tags: elections, north macedonia, vote


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