Presidential candidates have until Thursday at midnight to to submit their applications to the State Electoral Commission. Only one of the three expected candidates has done so so far – Blerim Reka who is the joint candidate of the Alliance of Albanians and the BESA party.

Two other candidates, Gordana Siljanovska Davkova from the opposition VMRO-DPMNE party and Stevo Pendarovski from the ruling SDSM – DUI coalition, have collected the 10.000 signatures needed to support their nomination. Unlike Reka, they can also use the option to support their candidacy with the help of 30 members of Parliament.

After the nominations are submitted, the State Electoral Commission has 48 hours to examine their nominations and in case some irregularities are determined, it will give the candidates additional 48 hours to correct them.

The official campaign will then begin on April 1st, and lasts until April 19th, when the two days of electoral silence begin when candidates are banned from holding rallies or campaigning through the media, to allow the voters time for reflection before the first round of voting on April 21st. If a candidate wins majority of the total number of voters in the country, he or she wins outright, but as this is a high bar, a second round of voting is expected on May 5th. In the second round, a simple majority of those who voted is enough to elect the next President, provided that at least 40 percent of all voters have voted. If the 40 percent census fails, new presidential elections are held.