The ruling coalition in Macedonia led by the Social Democrats (SDSM) with the participation of ALDE Party member LDP have won a sweeping victory in the first round of local elections.
Macedonia’s State Electoral Commission in its result reporting show the coalition won 39 municipalities in the first round, both for the Mayors and for the municipality councils, including the capital city of Skopje, and has a significant lead in another 13 heading into the second round due to take place on 29 October.
Subject to confirmation from the State Electoral Commission, LDP as part of this coalition are set to increase their number of seats in municipality councils from 18 to 22.
LDP leader Goran Milevski commented: “We, as a coalition, won very strong in these local elections, and we are going to confirm this victory even more strongly in the second round. However, for LDP this means more expectations from our voters, more responsible governing and more hard work in the period ahead.”
“LDP as an important partner in this coalition gain 22 seats in the municipality councils, and together with our representatives in the national government, we are going to allocate the party human resources and efforts towards the implementation of all the keystones presented during the campaign,” he added.
Zoran Zaev, who is the SDSM party’s leader and the country’s Prime Minister, declared victory, proclaiming: “This is what Macedonia looks like when the voting is free, peaceful, and without pressures. Having freely expressed their will, the people sent a message of support for the new government’s policy — a society for everyone, as well as growth and development of the economy.”
The SDSM had sought to garner support as it looks to speed up the country’s bid for membership in NATO and the European Union. Following parliamentary election in December 2016, Zaev formed a coalition government in May 2017 with the support from the LDP, the Democratic Union for Integration and the Alliance of Albanians. Together the government has sought increasing support as it looks to speed up the small membership in NATO and the European Union.
ALDE Party President Hans van Baalen MEP sent his congratulations after the result.
In August he last visited Skopje and held meetings with the highest government officials and the leadership of ALDE member Liberal Democratic Party.
You can check full results at the State Election Commission's website.