Debates are taking place in the Republic of Macedonia about the potential candidates that the largest political parties in the country will run for the presidential race which is expected to take place on April 21. Political parties have not yet announced any candidates, saying that they’re still looking into it.
SDSM decides with the coalition partners
Within the ruling party, Social Democratic Union (SDSM), the most likely candidates include Defense Minister Radmila Sekerinska, Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov, Interior Minister Oliver Spasovski and government coordinator for NATO, Stevo Pendarovski, who also ran in the previous elections and lost to Gjorge Ivanov. Their names are circulating in the media, but SDSM says that these names are not yet official and that it will soon be decided who will run for this race.
“This week we will have talks within the party and the coalition about the possibility of holding early elections and whether we will come up with a joint presidential candidate”, said deputy chair of SDSM, Radmila Sekerinska.
Democratic Union for Integration (DUI), which is part of the governing coalition, demands a consensual candidate who would be acceptable for all communities, especially the two largest ones, Macedonians and Albanians.
“We have an initial agreement with SDSM to come up with a consensual candidate, because we believe that the president should be above everyone and that he should be symbol of unity”, said Deputy PM for European Integration Bujar Osmani.
VMRO-DPMNE to select its candidate through a contest
The largest opposition party, VMRO-DPMNE has declared that it has started a contest which will aim to select the best candidate of this party for the presidential post. The most likely candidates include figures such as former Finance Minister Trajko Slaveski, Vlatko Gjorcev, Tatjana Karakamiseva and former Foreign Minister Antonio Milososki. However, the latter has denied the possibility of running for this post.
Meanwhile, Albanian opposition parties, Alliance for Albanians and BESA Movement are also looking into the possibility of running with a joint presidential candidate.