Todays Date
October 18, 2021

Presidential as "dress rehearsal" for parliamentary elections

The first round of presidential elections, taking into consideration the overlap with the parliamentary campaign, will influence the electoral behavior of voters

The results of the first round of presidential elections to be held on 13 April, will affect both the response and the citizens’ decision who for to cast their votes in the parliamentary elections that will be held along with the second round of elections for head of state on April 23.

For the first time Macedonia is facing this kind of double elections, presidential and parliamentary. Past elections for head of state held in 2009 were together with the local. New in this situation is not only overlapping the vote but the fact that the parliamentary elections are after the first round of the presidential, when the advantage, and maybe even the winner for the head of state will already be known.

Therefore both parties perceive the first round of presidential elections as a duel and fully invest to achieve victory or unquestionable advantage.

Psychological effect

 In political practice the influence of the winning mentality as pre-election method is known. This is especially evident in the campaign of the ruling party by emphasizing the fact that VMRO DPMNE in all elections since 2006, regardless whether parliamentary, presidential or local – has won.

It is not by chance that VMRO-DPMNE has won the elections seven times… – stated Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski.

Unlike the ruling, the main opposition party is cautious and relatively restrained in the wake of winning mood. It is certainly due to the experience of the previous election defeats, which could be changed only if it the “upturn” and “change” that they base their rhetoric on, find confirmation in the result after voting on Sunday, April 13.


Zdravko Saveski, professor at FON University, does not doubt that the results from the first round of the presidential elections will affect the parliamentary vote within those voters who always tend to incline towards the “stronger”.


-The first-round of the presidential elections will affect the behavior of voters and determine whether to vote and who for, especially in those where it creates a psychological moment to vote for the one who has most chances to win – says Slavevski.

The result of the first round of presidential elections will influence the apathetic electorate which in terms of foregone winner loses the desire to vote, he said.

(Un)necessary overflow of votes 

The attack on undecided voters can be considered a dominant feature of the campaign of the opposition candidate Stevo Pendarovski.


It is evident in the fact that he performs alone in the campaign, while the election caravan of his biggest rival Ivanov is practically run by the whole ministerial lineup of VMRO DPMNE, so he speaks about the achievements of the government as his:

Macedonia shows that when you work as a team and devotion, 120,000 job positions can be opened and by the end of the year 10,000 job positions are expected to be open – says Ivanov in one of his speeches.

In his rhetoric Pendarovski constantly stresses that he acts as “an individual with name, surname and background“.

Various campaigns for both major parties can be “double-edged sword” in the parliamentary race. For VMRO DPMNE Ivanov’s defeat would demolish the myth of invincibility that this party insists on. Or as they say in SDSM, Pendarovski’s victory will free the “energy for changes”.

On 13 April encouraging moment will happen announcing changes. And on 28th we will announce the victory of Macedonia. Victory of the people for the people. Victory for a new beginning – says SDSM leader Zoran Zaev.

Explaining in the address the decision to conduct separated campaigns with their presidential candidate, Zaev said – he does not need a mentor as Gruevski to Ivanov.

However, according to the analysts, the fact that Pendarovski insists on individuality and alienation from SDSM in the first round does not necessarily mean reflection of the result of the opposition SDSM. 

111Aleksandar Cekov

Cekov: Pendarovski could be in tight race with Ivanov

Aleksandar Cekov from the Center for Research and Policy Making considers that Pendarovski’s possible good result does not necessarily improve the position of SDSM. 

-So far in his appearances we have noticed distancing from the leadership of SDSM. It would mean that Stevo Pendarovski can win significant results in the first round, but I am not sure how the votes would be transformed at the account of the party proposing him in the second round and in the parliamentary elections – Cekov comments. 

Political analyst Arsim Zekoli is not convinced that Pendarovski’s popularity could be blended into votes for SDSM in the parliamentary elections. 

-Pendarovski has that chance, but unfortunately as if he somehow had no passion. He is the face of the campaign, but to strengthen that position he should direct the public and show that he has his own team of supporters – says Zekoli. 

Professor Zdravko Saveski considers that the two candidates in terms of the strategy of election campaign act properly. Ivanov with reliance on realistically higher rating of VMRO DPMNE than his and Pendarovski with distancing SDSM addresses undecided on whom, he says – the outcome of these elections depends.

111-Arsim Zekoli

Zekoli: Dirty campaign will start now

Although restrained in the estimates if the votes cast to the “winner” in the first round of the presidential race will really be decisive for the final result of the parliamentary elections, too, for experts on the political scene in Macedonia there is no doubt that the first round will be a dress rehearsal of the voting on April 23.

Editor: Tamara Causidis