Presidential candidates in Macedonia’s federal elections urged voters to turn up for a second round of voting at their respective press conferences in Skopje, after none of the three candidates won a majority of votes on Sunday. The country’s Prime Minister Zoran Zaev thanked supporters for voting for Social Democratic Union of Macedonia candidate Stevo Pendarovski, who won 42.85% of votes cast according to preliminary results. The candidate for North Macedonia’s conservative VMRO-DPMNE party Gordana Siljanovska trailed closely behind at 42.24%. Zaev invited those who hesitated to vote on Sunday to express their views in the runoff vote. “Each vote is important, you are important, respected citizens, it is up to you whether our country will go forward,” he said. Siljanovska also expressed optimism about winning, saying that her parties’ views were echoed in those of other European democracies. “Macedonia is not only weak – Macedonia is a broken state in many respects, Macedonia needs a radical change,” she said. The elections saw a historically low voter turnout of 40% – the lowest since the country became independent from Yugoslavia in 1991.
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