Re-vote confirms VMRO-DPMNE victory in Macedonia election

By bne IntelliNews December 27, 2016

Macedonia’s conservative VMRO-DPMNE party has retained its election victory, as the re-run in the municipality of Tearce on December 25 failed to change the election outcome. 

If no parties file complaints, the state election commission (SEC) will declare the results final. The president will then give the mandate to form a new government to the winning party, and a parliament vote on the new cabinet will be held by February 16.

The re-run took place following a complaint filed by the opposition Social Democratic Union of Macedonia (SDSM) after the December 11 election. 

Following the re-vote, VMRO-DPMNE still has 51 seats in the parliament versus 49 for the SDSM. The SDSM won the majority of votes in the revote but it fell short of achieving a margin of slightly over 300 votes in the sixth electoral district, where Tearce is located, needed to even out the number of seats gained by the two major parties to 50-50. 

In the re-run in Tearce, the SDSM won 245 votes while VMRO-DPMNE gained 149 votes, the SEC said in a televised news conference. The turnout was 56.3%. Voting in the re-vote went smoothly, even though monitors from the NGO Civil said there were attempts to bribe around 40 citizens of Tearce not to participate in the re-run.

Previously, VMRO-DPMNE rejected the decision of the Administrative Court to order a re-run in Tearce and said it would boycott the vote and would not recognise the outcome. However, Antonio Milososki, a former foreign minister from VMRO-DPMNE, was first to announce on social media that VMRO-DPMNE had secured its victory following the re-run.

If he is nominated to form a new government, VMRO-DPMNE's leader and former ex-prime minister Nikola Gruevski, will need to form a new cabinet composition with one or more of the ethnic Albanian parties, most probably with VMRO-DPMNE's former coalition partner, the Democratic Union for Integration (DUI), which gained 10 seats in the parliament.

Meanwhile, among the other ethnic Albanian parties, Besa gained five seats, the Alliance for Albanians three and the Democratic Party of Albanians (DPA) two seats in the 120-seat parliament.

The election was called to resolve the long-standing crisis sparked by the wiretapping scandal that broke in 2015. However, the election brought more troubles for Macedonia to solve and a quick end to the crisis is not expected. 

A senior SDSM official, Petre Silegov, said following the re-run that the SDSM not VMRO-DPMNE will form the new government, but he did not explain what his claim was based on.

According to analysts, the new government will have a limited mandate and will focus on the reform priorities.


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