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Tension expected between North Macedonia and EU neighbors after election victory for the right

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The conservative opposition party VMRO-DPMNE won the election in a landslide in North Macedonia. Party leader Hristijan Mickoski (right) and presidential candidate Gordana Siljanovska Davkova (right) are set to become prime minister and president of the country respectively. Photo: Boris Grdanoski / AP / NTB

Of NTB | 09.05.2024 02:54:02

Policy: The right-wing party VMRO-DPMNE’s electoral victory was resounding, and the ruling social democratic party SDSM conceded electoral defeat before any official election results were published. According to the Electoral Commission, the party gets at least 59 of the National Assembly’s 120 seats.

SDSM leader and former prime minister Dimitar Kovacevski congratulated VMRO-DPMNE before the party itself celebrated the victory. SDSM only gets 19, while the rest are shared by a number of smaller parties.

– We have succeeded: Macedonia won. It is a historic victory for the people, VMRO-DPMNE leader Hristijan Mickoski said in his victory speech.

The election victory of the nationalist party will probably have a lot to say for North Macedonia’s ambitions to join the EU. Mickoski has refused to recognize the country’s name change and the historic 2018 agreement with Greece that led to it. The agreement resolved a long-standing entanglement and allowed the country to join NATO.

Mickoski has also vowed to take a hard line towards Bulgaria in a history and language dispute that has seen Bulgaria block North Macedonia’s membership talks with the EU for the past two years. Bulgaria is demanding that Macedonians amend the constitution to recognize the country’s Bulgarian minority.

In the presidential election, which was also held on Wednesday, VMRO-DMPNE-backed candidate Gordana Siljanovska Davkova is set to become the country’s first female president after beating the country’s current president, Stevo Pendarovski.

(© NTB)

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