Prime Minister Zoran Zaev of North Macedonia called on Macedonians who hold an Albanian passport to vote for his counterpart’s Edi Rama’s Socialist Party in the April 25 elections in Albania.
“I call on all of you to vote number 12 on the April 25 elections, to support […] the Socialist Party,” Zaev told Albanian-Macedonians on Friday.
Their two center-left parties – Zaev’s Social Democratic Union of Macedonia (SDSM) and Rama’s Socialis Party (PS) – are both part of the Party of European Socialists.
The two leaders have collaborated closely on the so-called Mini-Schengen Initiative, together with Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic, in the last two years.
In addition, Zaev called for support in his district of Vasil Sterjovski, an ethnic Macedonian who has been an MP with the SP and is running for a second term in Korce.
“In the electoral list of my dear friend Edi Rama’s PS there is also Vasil Sterjovski, a Macedonian who has been part of the Parliament of Albania for the last two years,” Zaev said, stressing his invitation for a vote for Sterjovski in the Korca district.
Macedonians are one of the five minorities officially recognized in Albania, besides Greeks, Serb-Montenegrins, Roma, and Aromanians. The last census conducted in 2011 puts their number at around 6,000, though some NGOs claim it to be higher.