Stevo Pendarovski, the candidate of North Macedonia’s ruling Social Democrat Union, is leading his conservative rival, Gordana Siljanovska Davkova in partial returns, the country’s State Election Commission reports on their web site.
With almost 80 percent of the polling stations reporting, Pendarovski is getting 53.2 percent of the vote to Siljanovska’s 43.2 percent.
The map on the Election Commission’s site shows Pendarovski was the clear favorite of the country’s Albanian minority, which accounts for a quarter of the country’s 2.1 million population.
The two had finished in a near dead heat in the first round on April 21.
Final turnout figures are expected soon, but the Commission has already reported that turnout stood at 44.5 percent half an hour before polls closed, exceeding the 40 percent threshold required to make the election valid.
If confirmed, the results will boost Prime minister Zoran Zaev, who staked his rule on reaching an agreement with Greece that changed the country’s name.
We are still waiting for statements from the candidates and major political figures.