site.btaNorth Macedonia's President Pendarovski to Run for Second Term

North Macedonia's President Pendarovski to Run for Second Term
North Macedonia's President Pendarovski to Run for Second Term
President Stevo Pendarovski of the Republic of North Macedonia, Skopje, March 1, 2024 (BTA Photo/Vladislav Tentov)

President Stevo Pendarovski of the Republic of North Macedonia has announced he will run for re-election. He told a news conference in Skopje that his bid would be backed by a signature collection, arguing that he is completing a term "without a single mistake", in which North Macedonia joined NATO. He expects that in his second term the country will become an EU member.

Pendarovski said: "I have shown that the President can be independent of centres of influence, including the parties that nominated and supported him."

He will attend a congress of the Social Democratic Union of Macedonia (SDSM ), which will endorse him for a second term, and urged citizens to back him from March 3 when the SDSM is holding its congress.

"There are presidential candidates who pledge to revise the country's three important treaties. The Ohrid Framework Agreement played its historic role, it did not undermine but strengthened the internal cohesion between the ethnic communities in the country; the Prespa Agreement made NATO membership possible, which is a huge gain for the country. The treaty with Bulgaria was not controversial until Bulgaria, under pressure from its old communist guard, started inventing reasons for a blockade which do not exist in the treaty itself. Claims that anyone can change the negotiating framework [with the EU] are a political mirage. As is the new idea that the treaty with Bulgaria will be implemented, but in return they will want Sofia to change its constitution. I will be the first to congratulate whoever manages to do that. I am afraid, however, that this is a justification for the internal blockade of our European integration, which is meant above all as a way of boosting someone's political rating," Pendarovski said.

He said he expects support from all ethnic communities in the country because "to win the elections, you must have not only party support, but also citizen support."

Asked about his views on the idea backed by the Albanian parties in North Macedonia that the president should be elected by parliament, Pendarovski said he had always believed that the president should be independent of the centres of political and economic influence, and that now this position is stronger because of the term he is completing.

The Republic of North Macedonia is holding presidential elections on April 24. A second round is scheduled for May 8 along with the parliamentary elections.

/RY/

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By 01:52 on 23.04.2024 Today`s news

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