You have given me a huge political responsibility, which I intend to justify in the months and years ahead, in the interest of a better and happier life of all our citizens, said Stevo Pendarovski who received Sunday unanimous support from 712 delegates out of 783 attending at the 23rd SDSM congress.

The current national coordinator for the preparation of the country for NATO membership and university professor Pendarovski officially enters the race for president of the country in the sixth election on April 21. Pendarovski began his address with gratitude for the support, and as he wrote Saturday on Facebook, he said that it is an honor to receive support from 31 political parties and citizens from all ethnic communities, but also from many citizens who are not members of parties, and who, he said, “hold our Macedonia in their hearts”.

He expressed special gratitude to the leader of SDSM and Prime Minister Zoran Zaev who, as he said, made a political precedent and gave him the chance to be again presidential candidate after five years, since 2014, when he said, “we were all subject to brutal electoral engineering”.

We have no other alternative but to win on May 5th. I assure you that we have the same passion and the same energy as in 2014 to show that in these turbulent times, in this part of the Balkans, precisely this political option and precisely these people best understand the historical context and want to finally complete the project of integrated, democratic and multiethnic Republic of North Macedonia. On April 21 and May 5, it will not be decided on someone’s political career. That will be the least important. It is far more important to show that in a multiethnic state in the Balkans it is possible for people from different ethnicities to unite for the same goals – the Euro-Atlantic integration, laws that promote the rights of citizens and political representatives who overcome and cross over centuries-old ethnic lines of division, Pendarovski said.

He said he was glad that for the first time since the independence of the country, his nomination was supported by three Albanian political parties who are part of the Government, and those who are in opposition, he said, even though they will present their own candidate, they have no objection to his views for interethnic tolerance and, as he said, the role and place that the Albanians must have in the common state.

He mentioned the other favorites of SDSM, Spasovski, Dimitrov and Shekerinska, who said are his friends and comrades for the same cause. He thanked them for the way in which they presented themselves in the past period: “maximumly dignified, without underestimating the others and without shaking even a millimeter of the political project with historical proportions that we are fighting together for years.”

He underlined that after a decade of “autocratic regime of the family”, in the last two years, good news started coming from the country. He also said the current government had done a miracle with two things – the taking down the regime and the Agreement with Greece, adding that only those two things are enough to be remembered in history.

I wish with our joint engagement in the coming months to create another good news that all sincere fighters for freedom and democracy, not only here, but wider – in the region and in Europe, are looking forward to it, Pendarovski said, thanking for the trust and calling people to jointly invest efforts, as he said, “for Macedonia – for Macedonia to belong to everyone”.