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Stevo Pendarovski wins N. Macedonia's presidential elections

Xinhua | Updated: 2019-05-06 09:24

Presidential candidate of the ruling SDSM Stevo Pendarovski gestures after preliminary results, during the presidential election in Skopje, North Macedonia, May 5, 2019. [Photo/Agencies]

SKOPJE - Pro-Western candidate Stevo Pendarovski has won a presidential runoff in North Macedonia, an election official said Sunday night.

The incoming president is a joint candidate of the governing coalition of Social Democratic Union Party (SDSM) and Democratic Union for Integration (DUI), said Oliver Derkovski, the head of the State Election Commission (SEC).

According to data on the website of the SEC, with all ballots counted, Pendarovski won the election with 51.66 percent of the vote in the second round. Meanwhile, a total of 44.73 percent of voters supported Gordana Siljanovska-Davkova, a candidate backed by the main opposition VMRO-DPMNE Party, and 3.61 percent of the voters spoiled their ballots.

"I will be the president of all people, reach out to the government on all important projects, but also give my observations and make suggestions, and work in the citizens' interests," Pendarovski said in a speech after his party announced the victory, adding that "You decided at these elections that we should move forward."

The outcome of the elections is a cemented path toward the EU, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and the developed countries, Pendarovski said, who has vowed to strive for the memberships of the organisations.

Moreover, he thanked Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, the government and all the political parties who supported his candidacy, as well as his rivals Siljanovska-Davkova and Blerim Reka for their contribution to the elections.

Voting in the second round of the presidential election in North Macedonia kicked off at 7:00 local time (0500 GMT) and ended at 19:00 (1700 GMT) Sunday.

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