NEWS

Turnout, ethnic Albanian vote key in North Macedonian polls

turnout-ethnic-albanian-vote-key-in-north-macedonian-polls

Voters in newly renamed North Macedonia will choose the country's new president Sunday in tightly contested polls that could see the ethnic Albanian minority playing a major role.

Although the president has a largely ceremonial position, with some powers to veto legislation, the outcome of the vote could trigger early parliamentary elections in a deeply polarized country.

But the key concern is turnout: If less than 40% of the 1.8 million registered voters participate, the election will be invalid.

That first round saw the governing Social Democrats' candidate, Stevo Pendarovski, and the conservative VMRO-DPMEs Gordana Siljanovska Davkova tied with about 41% of the vote each.

So a lot depends on how, or indeed whether, the ethnic Albanians who make up about a quarter of the 2.1 million population will vote.

[AP]