Polls Close in Macedonia Presidential Election

The State Electoral Commission said that the voting went well with reports of minor irregularities.

“By 17h 41, 23 per cent of the electorate had cast their ballots” informed.

This is  considerably less than at the previous presidential poll five years ago when by this time, 48,73 percent had voted.

Highest turnout of over 50 percent, was recorded in the towns of Bitola and Prilep. The turnout was lowest in the ethnic Albanian populated rural municipalities of Lipkovo, Bogovinje and Saraj where only about 10 per cent of the electorate went to the polls.

According to local election monitors from MOST, by 18h 46,17 per cent of the voters had cast their ballots.

Monitors from CIVIL and MOST recorded cases of group and family voting, political campaigning near polling stations as well as presence of suspicious individuals in front of polling stations in various parts of the country.

"We have recieved quite a few reports from our people on the ground of group voting, family voting, assistance during voting with questionable legality" said Xhabir Deralla, the head of CIVIL.

CIVIL also say they have spoted a person carrying several ID cards in front of a polling station.

Monitors from MOST and from CIVIL as well as the Macedonian Helsinki Committee said there were concerns about the quality of the ink that is applied on the hand during voting to prevent multiple voting.

They said the visible ink that was supposed to last for 24 hours had been easily removable from the thumb with wet towels.

“In most cases citizens complain that the ink from the marker is easily removable which makes them suspect possible foul play," said the head of Helsinki Committee, Uranija Pirovska.


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