TV21 reported on the arrival of up to 2,000 ethnic Albanian emigrants from Kicevo to vote in the crucial second round of mayoral elections.

We come for our Kicevo. We emigrants are ready to help. The diaspora is here for Kicevo, they told TV21. The city has a high emigration rate, especially among its ethnic Albanians, and the parties regularly try to bring as many of the diaspora as they can for the vote.

Kicevo was gerrymandered to become an Albanian majority city and is now the symbolic stronghold of Ali Ahmeti’s DUI party, which faces difficult races in other, larger areas, such as Tetovo, Gostivar and Skopje’s Cair district. VMRO-DPMNE is running doctor Aleksandar Jovanovski as Mayor, against the incumbent DUI appointed Mayor and former UCK terrorist commander Fatmir Dehari.

Jovanovski beat Dehari by 300 votes in the first round, thanks to the emergence of several rival Albanian candidates, one of whom defected from DUI. If their votes go toward Jovanovski, who has inter-ethnic appeal as he is married to an ethnic Albanian, he could defeat Dehari in the second round.