North Macedonia returns to polling stations on Sunday

Ruling alliance candidate Stevo Pendarovski (R) with PM Minister Zoran Zaev after the first round results, 21 April.

North Macedonia voters will return to polling stations on Sunday for the presidential run-off. The key candidates Stevo Pendarovski and his rival Gordana Siljanovska-Davkova came out as winners in the first round held on 21 April with very close results: 42.8% to 42.2%.

During his electoral campaign under the slogan "Together Forward", Pendarovski, the candidate backed by the governing coalition, has firmly supported the Prespa Agreement, which opened the country's doors to Euro-Atlantic membership. His rival Siljanovska Davkova, supported by the main opposition VMRO-DPMNE party, who has adopted the slogan "Justice for Macedonia", called the deal with Greece as degrading and that it needs to be changed.

Both candidates said they expected to win the votes of the undecided and disappointed people who abstained in the first round. If less than 40% of the 1.8 million registered voters participate, the election will be invalid. A lot depends on the ethnic Albanians, who make up about a quarter of the 2.1 million population

The president has a largely ceremonial position, with some powers to veto legislation, but the outcome of the vote could trigger early parliamentary elections in a deeply polarized Balkan country.

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