Ivanov leads the presidential race in Republic of Macedonia

According to unofficial results, the current President Gjorge Ivanov is in the lead

According to unofficial results, the current President Gjorge Ivanov is in the lead

SKOPJE - Current President, Gjorge Ivanov, has won the first round of the Macedonian presidential elections according to the unofficial results announced on Monday.

Nikola Rilkoski, President of the State Election Commission (SEC), announced Ivanov's lead in a press conference. Ivanov, the current president of the country is the candidate for the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization – Democratic Party for Macedonian National Unity (VMRO-DPMNE).

Rilkoski said that Ivanov is taking the lead with 24.15 percent of the votes. Stevo Pendarovski of the Social Democratic Union of Macedonia (SDSM), the runner-up candidate took 17.49 percent of the votes. In third place with 2.15 percent of the votes are Ilyas Halimi from the Albanian Democratic Party (PDS) and Zoran Popovski from the Citizen's Option for Macedonia (GROM)

According to the unofficial results, as none of the candidates took 51 percent of the votes in this round, the second round of the elections on April 27 will see leader Ivanov and runner-up Pendarovski compete against each other to be the next president of the Republic of Macedonia.

Rilkoski also added that the elections were calm and 48.45 percent of registered voters went to the polls.

As soon as the unofficial results were announced, VMRO-DPMNE supporters began to celebrate the winning of the elections nation-wide. 

In a statement made at the party's voting station in Skopje, Ivanov thanked those who voted for him and stated that people responded in the best way possible by casting their vote in his favor.

Additionally, the opposition party's candidate Pendarovski said in a press conference at his party's headquarters that the battle has not finished yet and he is ready to fight for his ideals until the very last moment.  He lastly asserted that they can win the elections on April 27 despite pressure systematically applied by the party in power.

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