Zoran Zaev predicted that his SDSM party will win 22 mayoral positions in the first round of the local elections on Sunday, while his main opponent will win about six.

We have 69 mayoral candidates and lists for the Councils in all 80 municipalities and in the city of Skopje, and we will enter the second round with a serious advantage, Zaev said.

Mayors are elected in the first round if they win a sufficient majority over their opponents, while Council members are also elected in the first round, as seats are distributed proportionally. Close mayoral races will end with a run-off between the two best placed candidates held two weeks later.

After announcements from the opposition VMRO-DPMNE that a local election loss for Zaev will put an end to his coalition in Parliament, Zaev insisted that his coalition will actually grow. Zaev has hinted that some of the Albanian opposition parties, that are allied with VMRO at the local elections, will switch sides and join his coalition soon.