OSCE says presidential vote in North Macedonia well run but reforms to electoral code needed

OSCE says presidential vote in North Macedonia well run but reforms to electoral code needed
Election observers look on at a Skopje polling station during the second round of North Macedonia's presidential election, on May 5. .
By bne IntelliNews May 6, 2019

The OSCE said on May 6 that the second round of the presidential election in North Macedonia was calm and well run, but shortfalls in the legal framework continued to be a concern.

Stevo Pendarovski, the candidate of the governing coalition, won the presidential election runoff on May 5, leading his rival from the main opposition party Gordana Siljanovska-Davkova by nearly seven percentage points.

The inauguration of the new president will take place on May 12.

“This election cycle has now been brought to a successful conclusion, with voters freely able to choose between distinct choices,” said Sereine Mauborgne, head of the OSCE short-term observer mission, said in the statement.

She added that increased voter turnout shows the determination of the population to unite and address the challenges facing the country.

“It is now up to the political leadership to hear this message and undertake real reform that will replace the legal patchwork requiring constant political agreements with a coherent and sustainable electoral law,” it was noted.

The OSCE mission concluded that some problems in the electoral process remain unaddressed, in particular, the need to reform the electoral code.

In addition, it is crucial to strengthen the transparency and control of election campaign funding, it was recommended.

"While the law does allow for democratic elections, the regulatory gaps already evident on issues such as campaigning, media advertising, campaign finance and voter registration remain unaddressed. This further highlights the importance of legislative reform," the OSCE said.

The international election observation mission for the second round comprised some 170 observers from 32 countries.

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