The Social Democrats declared victory in North Macedonia’s parliamentary elections on Wednesday.

The pro-EU party led the nationwide poll with 36.48% of the vote, with over 93% of the votes counted.

Admir Sabani, the spokesperson of State Election Commission of North Macedonia, confirmed at a press conference 93.96% of the votes have been counted so far.

More than 1,500 candidates from 15 political alliances were running in the snap elections for a spot in the 120-seat national assembly.

The Social Democratic Party of Macedonia (SDSM), which has been in power since June 2017, made a pre-election alliance with the center-right ethnic Albanian party BESA Movement, as well as representatives and parties of the Turkish, Bosniak, Roman, Ulah, and Serbian communities, winning 36.13% so far.

Meanwhile, the alliance led by opposition Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization – Democratic Party for Macedonian National Unity (VMRO-DPMNE) has won 34.65% of the votes.

The Democratic Union for Integration won 11.57% of the votes, while the opposition Alliance for Albanians won 8.79%, and another opposition party, the Democratic Party of Albanians, won 1.48% of the counted votes.

The voting was extended to three days for the first time due to the novel coronavirus outbreak, and special measures were adopted in view of the pandemic.

Patients, elderly, and COVID-19-positive voters were able vote from their homes or hospitals on July 13-14.

Some three Turkish political parties in the country participated in the elections.

The Turkish Democratic Party and the Turkish Movement Party have joined the alliance led by SDSM, and the Turkish National Unity Movement joined the alliance led by VMRO-DPMNE.

Formerly known as Macedonia, the country changed its official name to North Macedonia in 2019 following 22 years of dispute with Greece to move forward with its Euro-Atlantic integration.

The country has a little over 2 million population and its main objective is the EU membership.

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