Macedonian parliamentary election, 2008


Macedonian parliamentary election, 2008

Infobox Election
election_name = Macedonian parliamentary election, 2008
country = Macedonia
type = parliamentary
ongoing = no
previous_election = Macedonian parliamentary election, 2006
previous_year = 2006
next_election = Macedonian parliamentary election, 2012
next_year = 2012
seats_for_election = All 120 seats to the Sobranie
election_date = June 1, 2008


leader1 = Nikola Gruevski
party1 = Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization–Democratic Party for Macedonian National Unity
leaders_seat1 =
last_election1 = 45 seats (VMRO–DPMNE-led coalition)
seats1 = 63 (VMRO–DPMNE-led coalition)
seat_change1 = +18
popular_vote1 = 481.602
percentage1 = 48.80%


leader2 = Radmila Šekerinska
party2 = Social Democratic Union of Macedonia
leaders_seat2 =
last_election2 = 32 seats (SDSM-led coalition)
seats2 = 27 (SDSM-led coalition)
seat_change2 = -5
popular_vote2 = 233.362
percentage2 = 23.65%

title = PM
before_election = Nikola Gruevski
before_party = Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization–Democratic Party for Macedonian National Unity
after_election = Nikola Gruevski
after_party = Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization–Democratic Party for Macedonian National Unity

Early parliamentary elections were held in the Republic of Macedonia on 1 June 2008 [http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2008/04/12/europe/EU-POL-Macedonia-Elections.php International Herald Tribune] after the Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia voted to dissolve itself on 12 April 2008. [http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5jPYpEVw6NkAP_Tuj2eW41aYE5m0g AFP (Google News)] The early election was proposed by the Democratic Union for Integration after Greece vetoed Macedonia's bid to join NATO at the 2008 Bucharest summit over the Macedonia naming dispute, and the request was supported by the ruling coalition of VMRO–DPMNE and the Democratic Party of Albanians; the opposition Social Democratic Union of Macedonia and Liberal Democratic Party boycotted the vote (thus, 70 of 120 MPs voted in favour of the motion, with all others absent from the vote). [http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/198446,macedonian-parliament-dissolved-early-elections-by-june.html The Earth Times] The elections were not due until 2010. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7343933.stm BBC News] This is the first time since independence in 1991 that Macedonia has had to call early parliamentary elections. [cite news | title=Изборите закажани за 1 јуни (Elections appointed on 1 June) | url=http://www.a1.com.mk/vesti/default.aspx?VestID=91752 | work=A1 News | language=Macedonian | date=2008-04-12 | accessdate=2002-04-13 ]

According to a poll of 1,108 citizens taken between 11 April and 15 April 2008, VMRO-DPMNE had a 29% rating, followed by SDSM with 11% and DUI with 10%. [ [http://www.a1.com.mk/vesti/default.aspx?VestID=92184 A1 News poll] ] A poll from 24 April and 25 April 2008 gave VMRO-DPMNE 26%, SDSM 12%, DUI 11% and DPA 7%. [ [http://www.angus-reid.com/polls/view/30621/governing_vmro_dpmne_first_in_macedonia Governing VMRO-DPMNE First in Macedonia: Angus Reid Global Monitor] ]

The two major parties formed coalitions before the elections. VMRO-DPMNE has formed a coalition called "For a Better Macedonia" with eighteen smaller parties, including the Democratic Alliance, the Socialist Party of Macedonia, the Democratic Renewal of Macedonia and the Party of Justice. SDSM has formed the eight-party coalition "Sun – Coalition for Europe", which includes the minor parliamentary party New Social Democratic Party. [ [http://www.setimes.com/cocoon/setimes/xhtml/en_GB/newsbriefs/setimes/newsbriefs/2008/05/02/nb-02 Macedonia's VMRO-DPMNE sign pre-election coalition deal with 18 small parties (SETimes.com)] ] Recent polls saw For a Better Macedonia lead with 37% to Sun's 18%, followed by DUI with 11% and DPA with 6%. [ [http://www.setimes.com/cocoon/setimes/xhtml/en_GB/newsbriefs/setimes/newsbriefs/2008/05/12/nb-06 Campaigning officially begins in Macedonia (SETimes.com)] ]

Due to violence on the polling day, the election had been repeated in parts of three election districts (193 polling stations [ [http://www.dtt-net.com/en/index.php?page=view-article&article=4130 Macedonia: Number of re-vote polling stations goes high - dtt-net.com ] ] out of 2,976 [ [http://english.people.com.cn/90001/90777/90853/6426440.html Macedonia to stage election re-run due to irregularities - People's Daily Online ] ] ) on 15 June 2008; about 170,000 voters were eligible to vote in the rerun, [ [http://www.nzz.ch/nachrichten/international/mazedonien_wahlergebnisse_1.753144.html Mazedonien annulliert Wahlergebnisse in 193 Wahllokalen (International, NZZ Online) ] ] and the results determined which of the two main Albanian parties will join VMRO–DPMNE in government. [ [http://www.setimes.com/cocoon/setimes/xhtml/en_GB/newsbriefs/setimes/newsbriefs/2008/06/08/nb-02 Macedonia to conduct revote in 193 polling stations (SETimes.com) ] ]

Outcome

Soon after the announcement of the preliminary results by the State Election Committee and the parties in the evening after the elections, it was clear that the coalition "Za podobra Makedonija" (For a Better Macedonia) is the absolute winner winning majority in the Macedonian parliament. According to the unofficial and preliminary results, this coalition led by VMRO-DPMNE won 64 out of 120 seats with about 46.7% of the vote, while the opposite coalition "Sonce – Koalicija za Evropa" (Sun – Coalition for Europe) led by SDSM won 28 seats and about 22.2% of the vote. The DUI got approximately 11.3% and the DPA 10.1% of the vote. [ [http://www.b92.net/eng/news/region-article.php?yyyy=2008&mm=06&dd=02&nav_id=50731 B92 - News - Region - Grueski victorious in violence-marred Macedonia polls ] ]

The leader of VMRO-DPMNE and the winning coalition, also current prime-minister of the Republic of Macedonia, Nikola Gruevski announced the victory saying that this is the first time in the history of the Republic of Macedonia, a party or coalition to be voted so many seats in the Macedonian parliament which shows that the Government of the Republic of Macedonia has worked very hard for the previous 20 months and the citizens rewarded that.

The leader of SDSM and its coalition, Radmila Sekerinska admitted the loss, saying that she takes the responsibility for that. She also reminded that the outcome of the elections is about 2:1 in favor of VMRO-DPMNE's coalition and not 3:1 as the rating of the parties was before the elections which shows that the campaign led by her showed to be successful.

The outcome of the elections in the Albanian bloc of parties are not yet known due to irregularities in the election process, as voting in many parts of the Republic with dominant Albanian populations is expected to be repeated. According to the preliminary results, the Democratic Union for Integration has a slight lead over the Democratic Party of Albanians among the Albanian electorate. However, both parties claim a large margin of victory. As such, both parties are asking for a repetition of the elections, since both claim multiple polls show them to be the winners among the Albanian portion of the electorate.

The Party for Democratic Prosperity announced after the election on 3 June 2008 that it would merge with the DPA in the next few days, effectively making the DPA the larger of the two main Albanian parties and increasing its chances in the repeated elections. [ [http://www.makfax.com.mk/look/novina/article.tpl?IdLanguage=1&IdPublication=2&NrArticle=113797&NrIssue=674&NrSection=10 Makfax vesnik ] ]

Violence

The tense elections involved episodes of violence, mostly between rival ethnic Albanian parties, the DUI and DPA. Shootings were reported in the Albanian-populated North-West of the country. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7429712.stm BBC NEWS | Europe | Macedonian poll marred by unrest] ] A gunman opened fire on a Macedonian police unit patrolling the village of Aračinovo, north of the capital Skopje. [cite news|last=Tompsett|first=R.|url=http://www.france24.com/en/20080601-violence-continues-check-macedonian-vote-elections&navi=MONDE|title=Violence mars election day in Macedonia|publisher=France 24|accessdate=2008-06-01|date=2008-06-01] One person was killed and several were wounded. [cite news|url=http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5guhqWS1P92Ymzfh-hNQ1w6fIfcXw|title=Deadly gun attack mars Macedonian elections|publisher=AFP|accessdate=2008-06-01|date=2008-06-01] Soon afterwards, the State Electoral Commission said voting had been halted at 10 to 15 polling stations in and around the village, a stronghold of Albanian rebels who fought government forces in Macedonia's 2001 conflict. At least 10 people have been arrested in connection with the violence. They included Agim Krasniqi, a commander of the guerrilla Albanian National Army. [http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/latest/2008/06/01/macedonia-election-tainted-by-violence-and-fraud-89520-20591393/ Macedonia PM wins election in shadow of violence - Mirror.co.uk] ]

Separately, a spokeswoman for the Democratic Union for Integration (DUI), the largest ethnic Albanian opposition party, said the party's headquarters in Skopje had come under fire. Also, two of its local officials in the ethnic Albanian Tetovo area were briefly detained by an unknown armed group before being rescued unharmed by police.

The situation appeared to have calmed down by the time polls closed at 7 p.m. (1700 GMT).

There were also reports of ballot-stuffing and allegations of fraud in villages around Skopje during the early hours of voting. [cite news|url=http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/1C5A35FB-17B7-4FDE-B935-FC8FA89EECEA.htm|title=Shootings mar Macedonia polls|publisher=Al Jazeera|accessdate=2008-06-01|date=2008-06-01]

Reactions

The ethnic Albanian Democratic Union for Integration (DUI) leader, former guerrilla commander Ali Ahmeti, blamed the rival Democratic Party of Albanians (DPA) and the police for "provocations, violence and psychological terror". "What happened today is a black mark on Macedonia," he said.

"The situation in the country overall is stable," Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski told reporters. "The incidents are small in number and mostly in ethnic Albanian areas. There will certainly be a repeat vote in those areas in two weeks."

On June 13, Gruevski warned that any political activists trying to repeat the violence of June 1 in order to collect votes will face consequences of the law, sating he "would not like to be in their shoes". He also stated that VMRO-DPNE will not form a coalition with any parties involved in such actions. [cite news|url=http://www.a1.com.mk/vesti/default.aspx?VestID=94104|title=Груевски нема да коалицира со партија со нелегитимни мандати (Gruevski will not form a coalition with a party with illegitimate mandates)|last=Mihailoski|first=Goce|date=2008-06-13|publisher=A1 News|language=Macedonian|accessdate=2008-06-14]

References


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