Governing coalition wins Macedonian contest

- Coalition talks between Macedonian and ethnic-Albanian parties expected

SKOPJE (AA) – Macedonia’s governing VMRO-DPMNE coalition led by incumbent Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski won the country’s early general election held on Sunday, according to official preliminary results.

With nearly all votes counted, the Democratic Party for Macedonian National Unity-led coalition (VMRO-DPMNE) won 42.21 per cent of ballots cast, giving it 61 seats in parliament. The Social Democratic Union of Macedonia-led coalition won 24.90 per cent, giving it 34 MPs and the Democratic Union for Integration, an ethnic-Albanian party, won 13.47 per cent of the votes, entitling it to 19 MPs.

The Democratic Party of Albanians won seven seats in Macedonia’s 123-seat parliament, Citizen’s Option for Macedonia one and the National Democratic Party one.

According to convention, the party which wins the election in the majority-Macedonian community must form a governing coalition with a party from the country’s Albanian minority, which makes up a quarter of Macedonia's population.

VMRO-DPMNE is expected to negotiate with Democratic Union for Integration and the Democratic Party of Albanians before going into government.

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