Outgoing President Stevo Pendarovski announced that he will run for a second term, and will accept the nomination of his SDSM party. In 2019, Pendarovski was a joint candidate of SDSM and DUI against the VMRO candidate Gordana Siljanovska – Davkova, but this time he will have to face Siljanovska with the support of only SDSM and its smaller partners, and with far less favorable polls.
Even though he will likely get the SDSM nomination and the needed 30 votes in Parliament to support his candidacy, Pendarovski urged citizens to begin collecting signatures for his nomination on Sunday, to meet the other available option – the support of more than 10,000 voters.

On Sunday, I expect to see SDSM support my nomination. Starting Monday, I will meet with all the parties from the SDSM led coalition. In my first term, we became a member of NATO, and I expect that we will join the EU in my second term. I’m a Macedonian, but my ethnic origin is no reason to give favoritism or to degrade anyone. In the past five years, I showed that a President can be independent from any centers of political or economic power, including those who supported his nomination. No-one can say that someone else was directing my decisions, Pendarovski said.

Regarding one of the signal failures of his administration and the administration of SDSM and DUI – the Bulgarian veto that continues to block Macedonia from opening the EU accession talks – Pendarovski insisted that the blame lies with the “Communist old guard” in Bulgaria. But he dismissed proposals from VMRO-DPMNE that Macedonia should try a different approach, after the SDSM – DUI approach of appeasement failed so badly.

VMRO-DPMNE member of Parliament Mile Lefkov responded to Pendarovski’s press conference.

While he was President and SDS and DUI led the Government, more and more citizens left Macedonia, escaping the life on the verge of poverty. Pendarovski himself stated that he considered leaving the country and only his elections to the Presidency prevented him from doing so, Lefkov said, pointing out to one of Pendarovski’s best known gaffes. “Wtih this statement, he acknowledged that the stiuation in the country exceptionally bad, and that many of our citizens live in the sad reality created by the Government. Well, it’s time we told Pendarovski that Macedonians will stop moving out and he will move out of the presidential villa on Vodno”.