Macedonian parliamentary election, 2008
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the Republic of Macedonia
Early parliamentary elections were held in the Republic of Macedonia on 1 June 2008 after the Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia voted to dissolve itself on 12 April 2008. The early election was proposed by the Democratic Union for Integration after Greece vetoed Macedonia's bid to join NATO at the 2008 Bucharest summit over the Macedonia naming dispute, and the request was supported by the ruling coalition of VMRO–DPMNE and the Democratic Party of Albanians; the opposition Social Democratic Union of Macedonia and Liberal Democratic Party boycotted the vote (thus, 70 of 120 MPs voted in favour of the motion, with all others absent from the vote). The elections were not due until 2010. This is the first time since independence in 1991 that Macedonia has had to call early parliamentary elections.
According to a poll of 1,108 citizens taken between 11 April and 15 April 2008, VMRO-DPMNE had a 29% rating, followed by SDSM with 11% and DUI with 10%. A poll from 24 April and 25 April 2008 gave VMRO-DPMNE 26%, SDSM 12%, DUI 11% and DPA 7%.
The two major parties formed coalitions before the elections. VMRO-DPMNE has formed a coalition called "For a Better Macedonia" with eighteen smaller parties, including the Democratic Alliance, the Socialist Party of Macedonia, the Democratic Renewal of Macedonia and the Party of Justice. SDSM has formed the eight-party coalition "Sun – Coalition for Europe", which includes the minor parliamentary party New Social Democratic Party. Recent polls saw For a Better Macedonia lead with 37% to Sun's 18%, followed by DUI with 11% and DPA with 6%.
Due to violence on the polling day, the election had been repeated in parts of three election districts (193 polling stations out of 2,976) on 15 June 2008; about 170,000 voters were eligible to vote in the rerun, and the results determined which of the two main Albanian parties will join VMRO–DPMNE in government.
Soon after the announcement of the preliminary results by the State Election Committee and the parties in the evening after the elections, it was clear that the coalition Za podobra Makedonija (For a Better Macedonia) is the absolute winner winning majority in the Macedonian parliament. According to the unofficial and preliminary results, this coalition led by VMRO-DPMNE won 64 out of 120 seats with about 46.7% of the vote, while the opposite coalition Sonce – Koalicija za Evropa (Sun – Coalition for Europe) led by SDSM won 28 seats and about 22.2% of the vote. The DUI got approximately 11.3% and the DPA 10.1% of the vote.
The leader of VMRO-DPMNE and the winning coalition, also current prime-minister of the Republic of Macedonia, Nikola Gruevski announced the victory saying that this is the first time in the history of the Republic of Macedonia, a party or coalition to be voted so many seats in the Macedonian parliament which shows that the Government of the Republic of Macedonia has worked very hard for the previous 20 months and the citizens rewarded that.
The leader of SDSM and its coalition, Radmila Sekerinska admitted the loss, saying that she takes the responsibility for that. She also reminded that the outcome of the elections is about 2:1 in favor of VMRO-DPMNE's coalition and not 3:1 as the rating of the parties was before the elections which shows that the campaign led by her showed to be successful.
The outcome of the elections in the Albanian bloc of parties are not yet known due to irregularities in the election process, as voting in many parts of the Republic with dominant Albanian populations is expected to be repeated. According to the preliminary results, the Democratic Union for Integration has a slight lead over the Democratic Party of Albanians among the Albanian electorate. However, both parties claim a large margin of victory. As such, both parties are asking for a repetition of the elections, since both claim multiple polls show them to be the winners among the Albanian portion of the electorate.
The Party for Democratic Prosperity announced after the election on 3 June 2008 that it would merge with the DPA in the next few days, effectively making the DPA the larger of the two main Albanian parties and increasing its chances in the repeated elections.
The tense elections involved episodes of violence, mostly between rival ethnic Albanian parties, the DUI and DPA. Shootings were reported in the Albanian-populated North-West of the country. A gunman opened fire on a Macedonian police unit patrolling the village of Aračinovo, north of the capital Skopje. One person was killed and several were wounded.
The situation appeared to have calmed down by the time polls closed at 7 p.m. (1700 GMT).
- http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2008/04/12/europe/EU-POL-Macedonia-Elections.php International Herald Tribune
- http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5jPYpEVw6NkAP_Tuj2eW41aYE5m0g AFP (Google News)
- http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/198446,macedonian-parliament-dissolved-early-elections-by-june.html The Earth Times
- http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7343933.stm BBC News
- "Изборите закажани за 1 јуни (Elections appointed on 1 June)". A1 News (in Macedonian). 2008-04-12. Retrieved 2002-04-13.
- A1 News poll
- Governing VMRO-DPMNE First in Macedonia: Angus Reid Global Monitor
- Macedonia's VMRO-DPMNE sign pre-election coalition deal with 18 small parties (SETimes.com)
- Campaigning officially begins in Macedonia (SETimes.com)
- Macedonia: Number of re-vote polling stations goes high - dtt-net.com
- Macedonia to stage election re-run due to irregularities - People's Daily Online
- Mazedonien annulliert Wahlergebnisse in 193 Wahllokalen (International, NZZ Online)
- Macedonia to conduct revote in 193 polling stations (SETimes.com)
- B92 - News - Region - Grueski victorious in violence-marred Macedonia polls
- Makfax vesnik
- BBC NEWS | Europe | Macedonian poll marred by unrest
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- "Deadly gun attack mars Macedonian elections". AFP. 2008-06-01. Retrieved 2008-06-01.
- Macedonia PM wins election in shadow of violence - Mirror.co.uk
- "Shootings mar Macedonia polls". Al Jazeera. 2008-06-01. Retrieved 2008-06-01.