North Macedonia’s ruling party names presidential candidate

March 3, 2019

SKOPJE, North Macedonia (AP) — North Macedonia’s left-wing ruling party has nominated the country’s coordinator for NATO membership as its candidate in an April 21 presidential election.

Stevo Pendarovski was announced as the Social Democratic Union’s presidential candidate during a party congress in the capital of Skopje on Sunday.

A dozen smaller parties also are backing Pendarovski. They include a junior partner in the current coalition government, the Albanian Democratic Union for Integration.

The main conservative opposition party, VMRO-DPMNE, nominated Gordana Siljanovska Davkova as the country’s first woman presidential candidate.

President Gjorge Ivanov will be termed out of office on May 12. Ivanov, a conservative, opposed an agreement with Greece that changed the nation of Macedonia’s name to North Macedonia last month to end a 27-year naming dispute.

The presidency is largely a ceremonial post.