2019 North Macedonian presidential election
Presidential elections were held in North Macedonia on 21 April 2019. Three candidates were on the ballot in the first round; Stevo Pendarovski of the ruling Social Democratic Union of Macedonia, Gordana Siljanovska-Davkova of the nationalist opposition VMRO-DPMNE party, and Blerim Reka, an independent representing the Albanian minority. The first round did not result in an absolute majority for any candidate, but Pendarovski won against Siljanovska-Davkova in the second round on 5 May.
Results of the second round by municipality.
The elections were the first in North Macedonia after the Prespa agreement on the naming dispute, signed on 17 June 2018. A referendum was held on 30 September, in which a majority of voters approved the agreement, although turnout was far below the quorum required to validate the result, mainly because of an organized boycott of the Anti-Prespa agreement bloc. The Assembly subsequently approved the change of the country's name to "North Macedonia" on 11 January 2019, and Greece subsequently ratified the agreement and the accession protocol for NATO.
Incumbent President Gjorge Ivanov was a vocal opponent of the name change and refused to sign the laws and amendments on the matter. However, Assembly Speaker Talat Xhaferi claimed that his signature was enough to enforce the change.
The name change had the support of the government coalition formed by the Social Democrats (SDSM) and the ethnic Albanian Democratic Union for Integration. The nationalist VMRO-DPMNE coalition led by Hristijan Mickoski was in favor of NATO integration but against the name change, although the change was approved in the Assembly with at least four VMRO-DPMNE MPs voting in favour.
After her nomination, VMRO-DPMNE candidate Gordana Siljanovska-Davkova had promised to initiate a second referendum and restore the old name to the country if she won.
The President of North Macedonia is elected using a modified two-round system; a candidate can only be elected in the first round of voting if they receive the equivalent of over 50% of the vote from all registered voters. In the second round, voter turnout must be at least 40% for the result to be deemed valid. Before 2009, the constitution required turnout in the second round to be 50% to validate the result. However, the XXXI amendment approved on 9 January 2009 lowered the threshold to 40%, as the then-government feared the trend of reducing turnouts would lead to presidential elections being frequently invalidated. In the 2009 presidential elections, second round turnout was just 42.6%.
The constitution mandates that the President must be over 40 years of age and have lived in the country for ten of the last fifteen years.
Before and between the voting rounds, several opinion polls were conducted. The percentages of the polls below are related to only those voters who declared that they would vote for a certain candidate.
|Date(s) conducted||Polling firm/Client||Sample size/Type||Pendarovski/SDSM||Siljanovska/VMRO-DPMNE||Reka/AA,Besa||Lead|
|8-14 Apr 2019||Rating Agency||1,112/Face-to-face||45.5||39.5||15.0||6.0|
|7-11 Apr 2019||IDSCS/Telma&MCMS||967/Telephone||44.1||38.1||17.8||6.0|
|4-10 Apr 2019||M-Prospect/MRT||1,197/Telephone||43.2||38.8||18.0||4.4|
|10 Mar-10 Apr 2019||Samerimpex Impulses/MCMS||1,147/Online||50.4||41.4||8.2||9.0|
|23-27 Mar 2019||IPIS/Sitel||1,110/Telephone||45.9||42.7||11.3||3.2|
|13-19 Mar 2019||M-Prospect/Telma&MCMS||1,001/Telephone||42.9||38.4||18.7||4.5|
|Date(s) conducted||Polling firm/Client||Sample size/Type||Pendarovski/SDSM||Siljanovska/VMRO-DPMNE||Lead|
|13-19 Mar 2019||M-Prospect/Telma&MCMS||1,001/Telephone||55.3||44.7||10.6|
To win in the first round, a candidate would have had to receive at least 904,066 votes, equivalent to 50% of the number of registered voters.
|Candidate||Party||First round||Second round|
|Stevo Pendarovski||Social Democratic Union of Macedonia||322,581||44.75||435,656||53.58|
- Supporter of North Macedonia Name Change Wins Presidency. New York Times, 6 May 2019.
- "Ivanov: Amnesty is a blackmail for votes for the Prespes Agreement". Independent Balkan News Agency. 28 December 2018.
- "Deputies agree historic name change for Macedonia". France 24. 11 January 2019.
- Силјановска ќе игра „втор референдум“ за Договорот од Преспа! 18.02.2019; Deutsche Welle.
- Polls Open in Macedonia Presidential Elections Balkan Insight, 13 April 2014
- Amendment XXXI Constitution of North Macedonia
- Anna Fruhstorfer & Michael Hein (2016) Constitutional Politics in Central and Eastern Europe: From Post-Socialist Transition to the Reform of Political Systems Springer, p235