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Two months later, Gruevski is still at large – who helped him escape?

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Macedonia’s fugitive ex-prime minister Nikola Gruevski, the most famous asylee in Hungary, is still on the run two months after he escaped justice.

Gruevski fled to Hungary six months after he was sentenced to two years in prison on corruption-related charges. Macedonian police issued an arrest warrant after he failed to show up to begin his sentence following a November 9 court ruling against his motion for a reprieve. It was on 9 November 2018, when court courier failed to trace Gruevski at his home address.

The people of Macedonia don’t have a clue how and when Gruevski fled the country, and if somebody helped his escape. Interior Minister Oliver Spasovski made it clear that ex-prime minister did not leave the country legally – neither through border crossing points nor by plane.

Public prosecutor Vilma Ruskoska said the findings of escape investigation indicate unintentional omissions by competent institutions.

The like-out-of-a-movie escape has stirred fevered gossip and numerous conspiracy theories. On the day he was finally told to report to jail, Gruevski vanished. He re-emerged four days later – but in Hungary, where he was soon granted political asylum by the far-right government of his political ally, Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

On his Facebook page Gruevski wrote that he fled the country after receiving “countless threats to his life”.

Orban’s government has denied interfering in Macedonia’s internal affairs, or having any role in smuggling Gruevski out of the country.

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Macedonia

Kaevski: We expect opponents to keep campaign fair

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We expect a fair campaign by the opponents, Darko Kaevski of SDSM said on Friday after drawing the lot which determined order of candidates on ballot paper. The joint candidate of the governing coalition allies and other political parties, Stevo Pendarovski, is positioned 3rd on the ballot paper for April 21 presidential elections.

Asked by a reporter why they kicked off the campaigning too early, alluding to meetings with voters and other related activities, Kaevski said Pendarovski today was confirmed by the State Election

Commission as official candidate, thus he will restrain from public statements by April 1st.

He reiterated Pendarovski campaign headquarters’ pledge for modern and European campaigning.

When North Macedonia voters head to the polls April 21, the first name they will see on the list of candidates for president will be Blerim Reka, Gordana Siljanovska second and Stevo Pendarovski third following a draw Friday at SEC chambers to randomize this election’s ballot.

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Macedonia

Drawing determines ballot order lineup for presidential election

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The order in which candidates names appear on the ballot paper was determined by drawing of lots. The State Election Commission (SEC) said on Friday the drawing to determine order lineup on ballot paper for the April 21 presidential elections was complete.

When North Macedonia voters head to the polls April 21, the first name they will see on the list of candidates for president will be Blerim Reka, Gordana Siljanovska second and Stevo Pendarovski third following a draw Friday at SEC chambers to randomize this election’s ballot.

“The public yesterday heard the statements of political parties’ representatives pledging for European campaign and we hope that the presidential candidates opt for European-style campaigning,” the electoral authority said.

“The forthcoming elections are crucial to North Macedonia’s European future and SEC will to its utmost to ensure fair and democratic election. We urge the candidates, the parties and the activists to comply with the rules set out in the electoral code relating to the early start of campaigning.”

“There is no need for us to take up the role of a judge or deal with complaints resulting by unreasonable statements, ” the Commission said.

State Election Commission chairman Oliver Derkoski confirmed earlier today that three candidates will be running for president in the April 21 elections. He called upon the candidates to restrain from public events and statements till April 1st, the official start of election campaign.

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Macedonia

Lot drawing to determine candidate order on ballots scheduled for today

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The State Election Commission (SEC) said the random drawing to determine order lineup on ballot paper for the April 21 presidential elections will take place Friday at Commission’s chambers.

The order in which candidates names appear on the ballot will be determined by drawing of lots.

State Election Commission chairman Oliver Derkoski confirmed Friday that three candidates will be running for president in the April 21 elections. He called upon the candidates to restrain from public events and statements till April 1st, the official start of election campaign.

The signatures standing behind Gordana Siljanovska-Davkova’s bid for president (candidate of VMRO-DPMNE), Stevo Pendarovski (SDSM) and Blerim Reka (candidate of BESA and Alliance for Albanians) have been submitted to the electoral authority.

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