Presidential election kicks off in North Macedonia

North Macedonia's presidential election kicked off on Sunday with voting starting early morning in polling stations across the country.

95c602b99af54b74b6393a2b63a74497.jpg(Photo: CGTN)

Over 1.8 million eligible voters will choose between three candidates running for the sixth president of North Macedonia.

Stevo Pendarovski is the joint candidate of the governing coalition Social Democratic Union Party (SDSM) and Democratic Union for Integration (DUI).

Gordana Siljanovska-Davkova is the candidate backed by the right-wing opposition VMRO DPMNE party.

Blerim Reka entered the presidential race with the support of two ethnic Albanian opposition parties – the Alliance for Albanians and the BESA movement.

The State Election Commission said a total of 3,150 domestic and 419 foreign observers will monitor the election.

The electoral campaign of the three candidates was dominated by issues including relations with Greece, domestic reforms and the country's accession to the European Union.

According to North Macedonia's constitution, a victory in the first round can be achieved only by winning over 50 percent of votes. Otherwise the two candidates with the most votes will head to the second round on May 5. 

The winner will be the candidate who has won the majority of the votes if more than 40 percent of the registered voters go to the polls.