Macedonian presidential election, 2009

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Macedonian presidential election, 2009

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  Ǵorge Ivanov 2012-04-27.jpg Frcko.jpg
Nominee Gjorge Ivanov Ljubomir Frčkoski
Popular vote 453,616[1] 264,828[1]
Percentage 63.14% 36.86%

President before election

Branko Crvenkovski

Elected President

Gjorge Ivanov

Coat of arms of the Republic of Macedonia.svg
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.[2] 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.[3]

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.[4][5]

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.[6]

On 25 January 2009, the strongest party in the Macedonian parliament, VMRO-DPMNE, appointed Gjorge Ivanov as the party's presidential candidate.[7] 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.[8] 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.

First round[edit]

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.[9] 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.[10]

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.[11][12] 103 voting stations could not open due to heavy snowfall; voting was to be rescheduled there.[13]

Nearly 7,000 Macedonian and 500 foreign observers monitored the vote at Macedonia's nearly 3,000 polling stations.[14] A fair and democratic election has been seen as an important factor for Macedonia's induction to NATO and the European Union.


A new poll, that was held one week prior to the run-off, saw Ivanov in lead with 25.4% and Frčkoski at 13.8% (that is, 69% to 31% of decided voters).[15][16]

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.[17]

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.[18]


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%.

e • d Summary of the 22 March and 5 April 2009 Macedonian presidential election results
Candidate Nominating party First round Second round
Votes % Votes %
Gjorge Ivanov VMRO–DPMNE 345,850 35.04 453,616 63.14
Ljubomir Frčkoski Social Democratic Union of Macedonia 202,691 20.54 264,828 36.86
Imer Selmani New Democracy 147,547 14.95  
Ljube Boškoski Independent 146,878 14.88
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
Invalid/blank votes 32,386 3.18 45,589 5.87
Total 1,019,268 100.00 764,033 100.00
Registered voters/turnout 1,792,082 56.9 1,792,082 42.6
Source: SEC, Nohlen & Stöver[19]

Invalid ballots[edit]

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.[20] 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.[21][22]


  1. ^ a b State Electoral Commission Archived 9 April 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ Macedonian Information Agency Archived 27 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ "Црвенковски: Нема да се кандидирам на претседателските избори". A1 Televizija. 26 May 2008. Archived from the original on 17 July 2008. Retrieved 27 May 2008. 
  4. ^ Macedonian Information Agency Archived 27 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ "Macedonia to hold presidential, local elections on March 15th". 15 March 2009. Retrieved 6 April 2009. 
  6. ^ "VMRO-DPMNE Candidate First for Macedonians: Angus Reid Global Monitor". 18 January 2009. Archived from the original on 19 January 2009. Retrieved 6 April 2009. 
  7. ^ Macedonian Information Agency Archived 5 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ "Macedonia's opposition SDSM announces presidential candidate". 27 January 2009. Retrieved 6 April 2009. 
  9. ^ "Ivanov Leads in Macedonian Presidential Race: Angus Reid Global Monitor". 2 March 2009. Retrieved 6 April 2009. [permanent dead link]
  10. ^ "Ivanov Ahead in Macedonian Election: Angus Reid Global Monitor". Archived from the original on 22 March 2009. Retrieved 6 April 2009. 
  11. ^ "Macedonia vote 'free of violence'". CNN. 23 March 2009. Retrieved 6 April 2009. 
  12. ^ 21 Mar 2009 (21 March 2009). "AFP: Macedonia holds polls crucial for EU bid". Google. Retrieved 6 April 2009. 
  13. ^ "Quiet vote comforts Macedonia's EU bid | EU – European Information on Enlargement & Neighbours". 23 March 2009. Retrieved 6 April 2009. 
  14. ^ "Macedonia Holds Key Vote". The Wall Street Journal. 23 March 2009. Archived from the original on 24 March 2009. Retrieved 23 March 2009. 
  15. ^ Večer Online
  16. ^ "Ivanov Could Secure Victory in Macedonia: Angus Reid Global Monitor". 1 April 2009. Retrieved 6 April 2009. 
  17. ^ Makfax News Agency
  18. ^ GmbH. "". Retrieved 6 April 2009. 
  19. ^ Nohlen, D & Stöver, P (2010) Elections in Europe: A data handbook, p2054 ISBN 9783832956097
  20. ^ Jane's Foreign Report: Macedonian voters search for a hero
  21. ^ Utrinski Vesnik: Chuck Norris eight presidential candidate (Macedonian, with photos)
  22. ^ Macedonians affirm their sense for humour during elections...