Right secures election victory
MACEDONIA’S conservatives, led by former prime minister Nikola Gruevski, secured victory on Christmas Day in a bitterly contested national election after a poll rerun in a single station did not give the leftist opposition enough votes to overtake their rivals.
The rerun, in the north-western village of Tearce, near the capital of Skopje, gave the opposition, led by the Social Democrats, 245 votes to 149 for the conservatives, led by Mr Gruevski’s VMRO-DPMNE party.
The rerun had been ordered after complaints about voting irregularities from the opposition Social Democrats.
The result has not been officially announced but has been posted on the website of Macedonia’s Election Commission. With the rerun result in, VMRO-DPMNE wins 454,577 votes and 51 seats in the 120-member Parliament to 436,981 votes and 49 seats for the Social Democrats.
The latter needed to secure 307 votes over the conservativesinarerunto gain a 50th seat at the conservatives’ expense.
Mr Gruevski will need to form a coalition government with one or more of the Albanian-minority parties, as he has done in the past, but, this time, coalition-building will be complicated by the emergence of two new Albanian-minority parties.