Skopje – Macedonia’s ruling Social Democrats, SDSM, celebrated a convincing victory Sunday night during the first round of local elections, widely regarded as a key test of the new government’s popularity.
SDSM, which formed a government in May, won leads in more than half of Macedonia’s 81 municipalities, taking most of the big urban centres. Its crowning victory was winning the capital Skopje – the main prize in the local elections.
The ruling party celebrated decisive victories over its main opposition – the right-wing VMRO-DPMNE party – during the first round of the local vote in major towns such as Bitola, Veles, Kumanovo, Ohrid and Strumica. However, it also won decisively in most of the smaller towns and rural areas too.