Macedonian presidential election, 2009
|This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
the Republic of Macedonia
A presidential election was held in the Republic of Macedonia on 22 March 2009, at the same time as local elections; a run-off round was held on 5 April 2009. Gjorge Ivanov, the candidate of the center-right VMRO–DPMNE party, won the election in the second round. The incumbent president Branko Crvenkovski did not stand for re-election.
1,792,082 registered voters had the right to vote at the presidential and local elections in Macedonia. According to the electoral law, the president is elected if he wins the votes of the majority of the registered voters in the first round; or, simple majority of the votes in the second round, in which the turnout must be over 40% of the registered voters.
There was a poll held in January 2009, before any names of candidates for president were made official, according to which 31.2% of the Macedonian citizens would vote for the candidate to be proposed by conservative party VMRO-DPMNE while 11.4% would give their vote to the candidate of the Social Democratic Union of Macedonia.
On 25 January 2009, the strongest party in the Macedonian parliament, VMRO-DPMNE, appointed Gjorge Ivanov as the party's presidential candidate. On 26 January 2009, the biggest opposition party in the country, the Social Democratic Union of Macedonia, proposed the former Minister of Internal Affairs and former Minister of Foreign Affairs Ljubomir Frčkoski for presidential candidate. The other candidates were the independent Ljube Boškoski, New Democracy leader Imer Selmani, Nano Ružin from the Liberal Democratic Party, Agron Buxhaku of the Democratic Union for Integration and Mirushe Hoxha of the Democratic Party of Albanians, the only female candidate.
A poll from February 2009 saw Ivanov at 27%, Frčkoski at 13%, Boškoski at 10%, Selmani at 9% and other candidates together at 18%. In a run-off, Ivanov would win over Frčkoski with 36% to 21%, with a large number of undecideds, however. A poll from shortly before the election saw Ivanov leading with 23.1% before Selmani with 13.3% and Frčkoski at 9.7%; 23.9% were undecided.
In the first round, Ivanov strongly led in front of the other candidates with 35%, with Frčkoski getting 20% and coming in second place and advancing to the run-off. New Democracy's Imer Selmani, who had been dubbed the "Macedonian Obama" for his ability to transcend the ethnic boundaries and appeal to ethnically Macedonian voters, as well, was by far the most successful candidate, gaining 15% of the vote and coming in third place, closely behind the independent Boškoski. 103 voting stations could not open due to heavy snowfall; voting was to be rescheduled there.
Nearly 7,000 Macedonian and 500 foreign observers monitored the vote at Macedonia's nearly 3,000 polling stations. A fair and democratic election has been seen as an important factor for Macedonia's induction to NATO and the European Union.
Some days before the second round of the elections took place, VMRO-DPMNE and the Democratic Union for Integration agreed on supporting each other on both, the local and presidential elections.
In part due to the existence of many voters in the registers who have left Macedonia years ago and live abroad, and in part due to the lack of motivation for ethnic Albanians to participate in the second round, there were fears that the minimum turnout of 40% might not be met in the second round, invalidating the election.
There was no decisive winner of the Presidential Elections in the first round which took place on 22 March 2009. A second round was held on 5 April 2009, in which the runners were the first two candidates from the first round – Gjorge Ivanov and Ljubomir Frčkoski.
The voter turnout in the second round was 42.61%, slightly over the legally required minimum of 40%.
|Candidate||Nominating party||First round||Second round|
|Ljubomir Frčkoski||Social Democratic Union of Macedonia||202,691||20.54||264,828||36.86|
|Imer Selmani||New Democracy||147,547||14.95|
|Agron Buxhaku||Democratic Union for Integration||73,629||7.46|
|Nano Ružin||Liberal Democratic Party||40,042||4.06|
|Mirushe Hoxha||Democratic Party of Albanians||30,225||3.06|
|Source: SEC, Nohlen & Stöver|
There was a significant number of invalid ballots in both rounds, 3.15% in the first round and even 5.87% in the runoff. According to media reports, this was due to voter apathy and disenchantment with the candidates. It is reported that there was a Facebook group "Vote for Chuck Norris" with thousands of fans. It was also reported that on thousands of ballots names like "Chuck Norris", "GOD", "Jimi Hendrix" or "George Bush" were hand-written by the voters.
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- Nohlen, D & Stöver, P (2010) Elections in Europe: A data handbook, p2054 ISBN 9873832956097
- Jane's Foreign Report: Macedonian voters search for a hero
- Utrinski Vesnik: Chuck Norris eight presidential candidate (Macedonian, with photos)
- Macedonians affirm their sense for humour during elections...