The Socialist candidate Stevo Pendarovski has won the North Macedonian presidential elections. Pendarovski, the candidate for the SDSM of North Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, won with 51.71% of the vote, while Gordana Siljanovsa-Davkova of the opposition VRMO-DPMNE won 44.68%.
The election of Pendarovski is expected to further strengthen the position of Zaev, after the previous VRMO-DPMNE President Gjorgje Ivanov refused to sign several key laws that included the new name of the country, North Macedonia, as well as the new language law, which officially recognizes the wider use of the Albanian language.
The country is expected to become a NATO member later this year after the historic agreement with Greece over its name. Like Albanian, North Macedonia is hoping for the opening of EU accession negotiation in June.