Macedonia Election: Conservatives Given Edge in Early Vote Count

File photo, BGNES

Former Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski's VMRO-DPMNE party has having a 4-5 percent lead on social democrat SDSM of Zoran Zaev, first poll data shows.

The conservative party, which has been at the helm of Macedonia for ten years. has got 41.35%, with nearly a third of the vote counted.

SDSM's result is around 36.31%, according to data from the election authorities cited by Macedonian media. Zaev has vowed to resign if his party comes second.

The Democratic Union for Integration (DUI), the Albanian party which was the junior partner in the previous VMRO-DPMNE-led coalition government, has so far garnered 6.73%.

BESA, another Albanian party, mustered a slighly bigger share of the vote, at 7.08%.

DPA, the ethnic Albanian party which once dominated among the minority but was overtaken by DUI, is tipped to get just 3.34% of the vote.

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