admin1 – March 25, 2013 – 5:41pm

The coalition led by VMRO-DPMNE polled most of the vote in 54 municipalities, the coalition led by SDSM won in 7, BDI in 12 and PDSH, the Serb Progressive Party, RDK, the Democratic Party of Turks and the Alliance of Roma in one each, as independent candidates won in two municipalities. These results have been obtained from the vote count at 97.48 percent of all polling stations in the country.
The State Election Commission (DIK) is going to state Monday the initial unofficial results of the local elections immediately after the vote count at all polling stations is complete, said DIK Chairman Boris Kondarko at the press conference Sunday at midnight.
Kondarko said the State Election Commission assessed the high turnout in the local elections as very positive and was content that the election day went peacefully without violence and or any incidents at polling stations. However, according to him, there were some serious election irregularities in and out of the polling stations.
Bearing in mind the nature and content of the remarks, which, as we have been told, have been registered in the reports at many polling stations in various municipalities, Kondarko added, I expect DIK to investigate all of them seriously and responsibly.
VMRO-DPMNE leader and Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski said at the press conference at the party election headquarters on Sunday at midnight that the coalition For Better Macedonia led by VMRO-DPMNE won massive trust and scored a convincing victory. According to Gruevski, free, fair and democratic elections were held in the Republic of Macedonia on 24 March, which are above all a victory of all citizens and of the state.
“This victory exceeded our expectations,” he said and added that VMRO-DPMNE and the coalition won in at least 25 municipalities and were in the lead in 32.
According to Gruevski, these elections are one more test that the Macedonian democracy has passed and one more argument in favor of Macedonia’s European integration.
SDSM leader Branko Crvenkovski said at a press conference one hour after midnight that the local elections were not fair and democratic. He said SDSM could not run in the second round due to, accord to him, election irregularities. Their goal, he pointed out, are early parliamentary elections.
“The support we received by the citizens in this context is so big that gives us will and determination as well as responsibility to continue the battle we have started together. The resistance continues. Our goal is early general elections and ultimate victory over this regime,” he said.
He also said that all options were open to them, including boycotting the second round until, he said, all irregularities registered or yet to be registered are cleared up. The chairman of SDSM said that the entire pre-election period was riddled with threats and pressures, irregularities in the voters’ list, and misuse of budget funds. He thanked all the citizens that voted for the opposition Sunday, congratulating them on their courage.
VMRO-DPMNE immediately replied to these accusations. According to Ilija Dimovski from VMRO-DPMNE, SDSM leader Branko Crvenkovski’s allegation that the elections were unfair and undemocratic is just seeking an excuse for the opposition’s defeat.
“Crvenkovski’s words, in which not even the members of his party believe any longer, cannot be an excuse for the fact that SDSM lost most municipalities,” Dimovski said.
He stressed that the number of irregularities in the procedure in terms of the number of polling stations, according to the information they have, is by far smaller than the number of registered irregularities during the parliamentary elections in 2011.
“Crvenkovski has to face the will of citizens, who have defeated his failed policy of empty words and fake promises for the seventh time. Crvenkovski finally has to learn to respect the citizens of the Republic of Macedonia,” Dimovski said.
Richard Howitt, the Rapporteur on Macedonia at the European Parliament, said on his twitter profile he was content that the observers of the local elections in Macedonia did not report any serious incidents on Sunday.