VMRO-DPMNE today announced that professor Gordana Siljanovska – Davkova is the only candidate who submitted a nomination for the presidential elections. The party will hold a convention on March 2nd when the delegates will decide on her nomination.

Professor Siljanovska was the VMRO candidate for president in the 2020 elections as well. Then she lost to the SDSM candidate Stevo Pendarovski, who received the support of all ethnic Albanian parties, which was decisive for the outcome – Siljanovska easily beat Pendarovski in the majority Macedonian districts.

This year, polls show that VMRO-DPMNE has a far greater lead over SDSM, owing ot the disastrous policies that the ruling party has pursued, in coalition with its partner DUI. With the split in the Albanian bloc, where a large opposition coalition has formed to challenge DUI, SDSM can’t even count on the unified Albanian support in the second round of the elections, making the task of their candidate even harder.

Gordana Siljanovska is a professor of constitutional law at the Skopje Law Faculty. She was a member of one of the first post-independence governments, and vice chair of the group of independent experts on municipal administration of the Council of Europe. Siljanovska has authored hundreds of scientific papers on political systems and constitutional law.

It’s possible that 2024 will be a repeat of 2020, as Pendarovski is trying to secure his party’s nomination. The party is also considering one of its longest serving officials, Radmila Sekerinska, as well as an Albanian candidate who could help them secure the Albanian vote – Fatmir Bytyqi.

Other candidates who have declared so far include professor Biljana Vankovska, who is nominated by the populist Levica party, and who has been close to Siljanovska, and the Mayor of Karpos, Stevce Jakimovski, who announced his nomination today, as well as epidemiologist Velo Markovski.

DUI is expected to announce its candidate on Thursday. They briefly toyed with the idea of nominating their leader Ali Ahmeti, in an attempt to inflict a major victory over the Albanian opposition in the first round of the elections, but faced with the prospect of losing this fight, DUI is now considering the Foreign Minister Bujar Osmani, the Mayor of Kicevo Fatmir Dehari and several other lesser known options. The Albanian opposition is nominating Gostivar Mayor Arben Taravari, whose decision to join the opposition bloc is having serious ramifications on the political scene and badly damaged SDSM’s hopes to nominate a candidate supported by all the Albanian parties.