Ali Ahmeti, leader of the ethnic Albanian DUI party, said that the elections today are important to send a message to the international community that Macedonia is a mature society. Ahmeti, who staked his decades long domination over the ethnic Albanian political bloc in Macedonia, painted the elections as a move that would open the doors for Macedonia to begin its EU accession talks.

This is not a day to sit at home, but a day to contribute to our future and walk together for our country, Ahmeti said.

A strong showing for the opposition ethnic Albanian candidate, and a dramatic drop in support for SDSM and DUI in the first round, compared to the 2017 municipal elections, greatly eroded Ahmeti’s position as the ethnic power-broker in Macedonia.