EMG in FYRMacedonia
VMRO-DPMNE-led coalition "For Better Macedonia" scores victory, Gruevski resumes premier's mandate
06. June 2011. | 00:02 00:20
Source: MIA, Balkaninsight
Nikola Gruevski remains Prime Minister, VMRO-DPMNE-led coalition has won 55 parliamentary seats, while opposition SDSM - 39. Smaller parties will not mange to have their representative at the new parliament.
The fatherland is in firm hands, Nikola Gruevski remains Macedonia's Prime Minister, VMRO-DPMNE candidate for MP Vlatko Gjorcev said late Sunday at a press conference.
Presenting the results, Gjorcev said that VMRO-DPMNE-led coalition, which brings together 24 parties, has won 55 parliamentary seats, while opposition SDSM - 39. Smaller parties will not mange to have their representative at the new parliament, he added.
"These elections have been a classical fight between two different options - transitionary and reformatory - the one of Branko Crvenkovski and Nikola Gruevski. SDSM will get a chance to reform itself as Macedonia needs it. Radmila Selerinska has failed for the second time to become Macedonia's prime minister," Gjorcev said.
"The VMRO DPMNE-led coalition has won these elections," Prime Minister and VMRO DPMNE party leader Nikola Gruevski told supporters late on Sunday.
"This victory means that most citizens of Macedonia have recognised that the VMRO, even at a time of crisis and in the most difficult circumstances, knows how to deal with the country's problems," he added in a speech at the press centre in downtown Skopje.
The centre-right VMRO DPMNE has claimed victory in all six electoral districts over its bitter rivals, the Social Democrats, who are led by the former Macedonian president Branko Crvenkovski.
Their calculations show that they have secured 55 MP seats in the 123-seat parliament and that the Social Democrats will win 39. Before the poll, the ruling party held 63 seats in the 120-seat assembly and the main opposition held 18.
Meanwhile, the State Electoral Commission has come out with its first partial preliminary results from Sunday's poll. Of the 63 per cent of votes that have been counted, VMRO DPMNE has won 218,714 votes, while the Social Democrats have 179,007.
The opposition Social Democrats have admitted that the ruling party has a lead but have noted that the results are much tighter than at the last snap poll, held in 2008, when the VMRO DPMNE won a landslide victory. That election gave the opposition only 18 MP seats in parliament.
The Social Democrats have said that according to their calculations, out of the 50 per cent of ballots counted so far, their party has won 284,402 votes and the ruling party 333,268 votes.
In the ethnic Albanian bloc, the junior ruling Democratic Union for Albanians, DUI, has declared an absolute victory. Ethnic Albanians make one quarter of the country’s 2.2 million residents.
According to the Electoral Commission's preliminary results, the DUI has won 57,766 votes after half of the votes were counted. The opposition Democratic Party of Albanians are currently second in this bloc with 27,966.
It is customary that the winning Albanian party be asked to join the government formed by the largest Macedonian party.
The preliminary vote count shows that the right wing opposition United for Macedonia, and the VMRO People’s Party have failed to cripple the VMRO DPMNE. These parties were hoping to snatch the traditional right wing VMRO DPMNE voters. According to the initial data, after 63 per cent of ballots were counted, the two parties have around 10,000 votes each. This means that they can hope for one seat in parliament.
In the run up to the elections, observers predicted that the VMRO DPMNE and DUI would win fewer MP seats in the early elections compared to the previous polls in 2008, and that this might make it more difficult for them to form the new government.
If the ruling party manages to stay in power nevertheless, observers say the strengthened opposition will prove to be more influential than during the previous mandate.