The first round of the Macedonian presidential election was held on March 22. Incumbent Social Democratic President Branko Crvenkovski is not standing for re-election. The candidates are:
Gjorgje Ivanov, VMRO-DPMNE (ruling centre-right)
Ljubomir Frčkoski, Social Democratic Union of Macedonia
Nano Ružin, Liberal Democratic Party (historically SDSM’s coalition partners)
Ljube Boškoski, independent (centre-right, relaxed of all criminal charges in The Hague)
Agron Buxhaku, Democratic Union for Integration (Albanians, and VMRO-DPMNE’s coalition partners)
Mirushe Hoxha, Democratic Party of Albanians
Imer Selmani, New Democracy (new mostly Albanian party)
And the results, initial results, as of March 23.
Gjorgje Ivanov (VMRO-DPMNE) 33.95%
Ljubomir Frčkoski (SDSM) 19.81%
Imer Selmani (New Democracy) 14.51%
Ljube Boškoski 14.40%
Agron Buxhaku (BDI) 7.27%
Nano Ružin (LDP) 3.92%
Mirushe Hoxha (PDSH) 2.99%
So, around 25% for the Albanians, which is roughly equal to their size in Macedonia. But probably we’re not seeing the whole picture. Selmani, called the Macedonian Obama, has been able to appeal to non-Albanians apparently, but I highly suspect his voter base is still largely Albanian (PDSH+BDI combined polled about 21% in the 2008 election). The data by municipality/region will allow us to see what Selmani’s base was.
Anyways, a big lead for Ivanov, but far from victory still. I suspect that Albanians tend to vote for the SDSM quite massively in VMRO-SDSM runoffs. They did go massively for Crvenkovski in 2004. But then I suspect that Boškoski voters will go for Ivanov. In the end, I would say that Ivanov has the best chances to pull off a win.