Ivan Jordanov, the VMRO-DPMNE candidate for Mayor of Stip, who faced a tough campaign against the incumbent mayor doctor Sasko Nikolov, has a lead of 2,500 votes, the opposition party informed.

According to the initial results, Jordanov won 7,000 votes, against 4,550 for Nikolov, with 50 percent of the votes counted.

Nikolov was hoping to score an easy win, but was marred by an interview in which he appeared aloof as the city is losing its important textile jobs, and by the apparent red-black wave that is forming in the local elections.