- Title: MACEDONIA: CANDIDATES VOTE IN PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION
- Date: 14th April 2004
- Summary: (U4) SKOPJE, MACEDONIA (APRIL 14, 2004) (REUTERS ACCESS ALL) 1. WIDE OF SKOPJE CITYSCAPE 0.05 2. WIDE OF MAN ON BICYCLE RIDING PAST ELECTION POSTERS IN STREET 0.12 3. VARIOUS OF POSTERS OF THE TWO MAIN CANDIDATES 0.19 4. SLV POLLING STATION BEING OPENED 0.27 5. VARIOUS OF ELECTORAL COMMISSION CHECKING DOCUMENTS OF FIRST VOTERS 0.37 6. VARIOUS OF ORDINARY CITIZENS VOTING 1.37 7. VARIOUS OF SASKO KEDEV, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE OF THE CENTRE-RIGHT PARTY VMRO-DPMNE ARRIVING AT POLLING STATION 1.43 8. VARIOUS OF ELECTORAL COMMISSION CHECKING KEDEV'S DOCUMENTS 1.58 9. CLOSE OF PHOTOGRAPHERS 2.04 10. VARIOUS OF KEDEV CASTING HIS VOTE 2.18 11. SCU SOUNDBITE (English) SASKO KEDEV, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE OF VMRO-DPMNE SPEAKING SAYING: "I expect to have successful elections today and to have fair and democratic procedure during the elections. I am pretty much sure that we will have a second round during these elections. So in two weeks we will know who will be the president, who will be elected by the citizens of Republic of Macedonia." 2.37 12. VARIOUS OF KEDEV GETTING INTO HIS CAR, PEOPLE APPLAUDING 2.50 13. VARIOUS OF BRANKO CRVENKOVSKI, MACEDONIAN PRIME MINISTER AND THE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE OF THE CENTRE-LEFT SDSM ARRIVING AT POLLING STATION AND REGISTERING TO VOTE 3.05 14. VARIOUS OF CRVENKOVSKI CASTING HIS VOTE 3.24 15. VARIOUS OF SOUNDBITE (Macedonian) BRANKO CRVENKOVSKI, MACEDONIAN PRIME MINISTER AND THE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE OF SDSM SPEAKING SAYING: "I expect to win in these elections and Macedonia to receive its president." / THEN WALKING AWAY 3.34 17. CRVENKOVSKI LEAVING Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Embargoed: 29th April 2004 13:00
- Location: SKOPJE, MACEDONIA
- Country: Macedonia
- Reuters ID: LVA8CPBDSWO91L7HDGMGMO1PD6A2
- Story Text: Strong turnout at the polls in Macedonian
Macedonia seemed on course for a peaceful election
with a strong turnout on Wednesday (April 14) as voters
chose a successor to late President Boris Trajkovski, who
was killed in a plane crash two months ago.
Diplomats said a vote free of violence would offer
further proof that the former Yugoslav republic had
overcome the ethnic tensions that nearly tore it apart in
2001, when Trajkovski rose to the role of peacemaker
between hardline nationalists and rebel Albanians demanding
a greater share of power.
In the first round of what was expected to be a
two-stage race, four candidates including the country's
centre-left Prime Minister Branko Crvenkovski were
competing to become the third head of state since
independence in 1991.
Some 10 percent of the country's 1.6 million electorate
had cast ballots in the first hours of voting, indicating a
likely final turnout well clear of the 50 percent minimum
requirement. If there is no outright winner, a runoff is
due on April 28.
"I hope today's elections will be carried out in a
peaceful and democratic atmosphere. I expect a massive
turnout and I am convinced that by April 28 Macedonia will
have its next president," Crvenkovski told reporters at the
"I expect to win in these elections and Macedonia to
receive its president."
The 41-year-old Social Democrat and two-time premier
has pledged to quit politics if he fails to win the
presidency. Opinion polls showed him leading the field.
His main challenger is heart surgeon and political
novice Sasko Kedev of the largest opposition party, the
centre-right VMRO-DPMNE, who only entered parliament in
Two other candidates, G'zim Ostreni and Zudi Dxhelili,
represent the 25 percent Albanian minority and are running
mainly to test their relative strengths in that community.
First indications of the outcome of round one were
expected by the end of the day from the four party
The presidency is largely ceremonial, although the head
of state is commander-in-chief of the armed forces and can
temporarily block legislation.
Trajkovski, a conservative, battled hardliners in his
own party in the 2001 conflict with Albanian rebels who
seized control of northern villages, displaying how his
limited powers could exert vital leverage at a time of
He was credited with reining in a rightwing government
bent on a purely military response to the guerrillas, and
with the help of NATO and the European Union, he mediated
the Ohrid accord, which gave the minority Albanians greater
Unlike the last presidential election in 1999, there
was no violence during the current campaign. But Macedonia,
the poorest and most southerly of ex-Yugoslav republics,
Crvenkovski must step down as prime minister if he
becomes president and hand over the top executive and party
post to a successor. Western diplomats said that could mean
weeks of politicking over a new cabinet.
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