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Zeqiri: A bitter victory – voters reward and punish governments

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This is a bitter victory and the outcome should be a lesson for everyone, Muhamed Zeqiri, SDSM’s lawmaker, wrote on social media Sunday night as Stevo Pendarovski and his main rival Gordana Siljanovska-Davkova emerged tied in the first round of the presidential vote.

Returns from the polls gave an indication Pendarovski and Siljanovska-Davkova will compete in a runoff early next month. The May 5 runoff is inevitable because the country’s election law requires a candidate to get 50% plus one of registered voters, not just voters who cast ballots for president, to be elected in the first round.

“It is high time that part of SDSM’s dignitaries assume responsibility, and it is also high time that great part of ethnic-Albanian political elite goes into retirement,” SDSM’s MP Zeqiri wrote on social media.

“A bitter victory. The result is a lesson for all. Voters know how to reward and how to sanction governments. Did we experience electoral sanctions? I send special regards to ethnic-Albanian voters who supported Stevo Pendarovski, and I also greet the excellent result of candidate Blerim Reka. The citizens Albanians have clearly demonstrated that some ethnic-Albanian politicians in the Republic of North Macedonia should retire.”

Both Zaev’s Social Democrats, and opposition VMRO-DPMNE proclaimed victory. Returns from the polls showed Pendarovski had a slight lead over Siljanovska, 323.040 versus 318.535, and third runner Reka 79.787 votes or 10,58 percent of the vote.

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Macedonia

Arrest warrant issued for Spasov

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Former special police officer Igor Spasov, who has been sentenced to 14 years in prison for murdering Martin Neskoski, is wanted on recall to prison after going missing.

Macedonian police issued an arrest warrant on Tuesday after he failed to show up to begin his sentence. The arrest warrant has been published on the web-site of the Ministry of Interior.

The former member of special police force vanished after ignoring summons to serve time after he was sentenced in prison on murder charges.

The man had probably fled justice to avoid serving a 14-year jail sentence for a murder conviction. He was to report to Idrizovo correctional facility on 18 October.

The murder took place during a late-night celebration of VMRO-DPMNE’s victory in 2011 parliamentary elections.

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Macedonia

Matthew Palmer due in Skopje today

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The US Secretary of State’s Special Representative for the Western Balkans, Matthew Palmer, will visit North Macedonia on Tuesday.

Special Representative Palmer is scheduled to meet with Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov, Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a press release.

The two are expected to discuss the bilateral relations between North Macedonia and the United States, including the US support for the country’s integration into the Euro-Atlantic community. They will exchange views on the situation in the country and the region.

In late August, the U.S. State Department appointed Deputy Assistant Secretary Palmer as special envoy for the Western Balkans with a mandate to help integrate the region into Western institutions.

US Secretary of State has appointed Deputy Assistant Secretary Matthew Palmer  as his Special Representative for the Western Balkans.  In this role, Palmer will lead our efforts to strengthen U.S. diplomatic engagement in support of peace, stability, and prosperity in the region and focus on integration of the Western Balkan countries into Western institutions.

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Macedonia

Zaev: We can give argument to reassure Macron

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We can give arguments to reassure President Macron that “methodology prior to enlargement” proposal could be converted into “enlargement along with change in methodology”, Prime Minister Zoran Zaev wrote on his Facebook page, alluding to France’s Emmanuel Macron’s initiative for new enlargement methodology.

“We are not only a strategic interest, we are Europe. It means we will become a member of the European Union once we wrap up the comprehensive reform at home. The pre-accession process and closure of chapters will help us make it happen. The accession negotiations will help us wrap up domestic reform,” Zaev wrote on his Facebook page.

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