Three Candidates Vie for North Macedonia Presidency
The post is largely ceremonial but the election could be a barometer for the future of the country
Three candidates are vying for the presidency in North Macedonia, where voters go to the polls on Sunday for the first round of elections, AP reported.
The post is largely ceremonial, but the election is seen as a key test of the government following deep polarization after the country changed its name to end a decades-old dispute with neighboring Greece over use of the term “Macedonia.”
Here is a look at the three candidates, all of whom are university professors:
Gordana Siljanovska Davkova, 63 — The first woman to run for president since the country declared independence from Yugoslavia in 1991.
Siljanovska served as minister without portfolio in 1992-1994 in the first government after independence and participated in writing the country’s first constitution.
Stevo Pendarovski, 56 — A former national security adviser for two previous presidents and until recently national coordinator for NATO, this is Pendarovski’s second bid for the presidency after being defeated by outgoing President Gjorge Ivanov in 2014.
His main campaign platform is one of unity, and he has made NATO and EU membership a key strategic goal, saying they will bring more foreign investment, will create jobs and higher wages and prevent young people leaving the country.
Blerim Reka, 58 — A soft-spoken international law professor who headed the country’s diplomatic mission to the EU from 2006-2010, the ethnic Albanian candidate was nominated by two small ethnic Albanian opposition parties, BESA and the Alliance of Albanians.
No ethnic Albanian presidential candidate has ever made it to the second round of elections in the past. But the ethnic minority’s votes, which make up about a quarter of the country’s 2.1 million people, have proved crucial to the election of the president in the runoffs.