Independent mayoral candidate in Kumanovo Maksim Dimitrievski accused the Interior Ministry, ran by his local SDSM party rival Oliver Spasovski, of brutally interfering in the crucial run-off elections. Dimitrievski left SDSM and ran a successful independent campaign, but faced police pressure as he faced off against Spasovski’s handpicked candidate Oliver Ilievski.

Officers from the 6th service of the ANB security agency are on the ground, they are pressuring the voters, obstructing voting, give logistics to the party activists. Uniformed police remains silent as they do this. They are harassing our activists, we’ve been followed for days, our vehicles were seized, attempts of bribery and intimidation are constant, but you won’t break us, Dimitrievski said.

He narrowly beat Ilievski in the first round and hopes to go across the finish line with the help of the opposition voters from VMRO-DPMNE and Levica. Kumanovo was considered a certain hold for SDSM, but Dimitrievski’s defection could end the party’s three decades rule in the city hall there.