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Polls close in North Macedonia’s early parliamentary elections

Polls have closed in North Macedonia's 10th parliamentary elections. In Wednesday's elections - the country's fifth snap polls, a total of 1,814,263 were eligible to vote in 3,480 polling stations across the country.

Skopje, 15 July 2020 (MIA) – Polls have closed in North Macedonia’s 10th parliamentary elections. Only voters who will be in a polling station at 9 pm, when the polls should close, will be allowed to cast their ballot.

In Wednesday’s elections – the country’s fifth snap polls, a total of 1,814,263 were eligible to vote in 3,480 polling stations across the country.

Today’s polls have taken place in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic and as a result, the process was organized to take place three days allowing different categories of citizens to vote. Also, election day lasted 14 hours – from 7 am to 9 pm.

Voters had the chance to give their vote for 15 political parties and coalitions that between them had 1,578 candidates. Of those, 675 (42.78%) are women and 903 (57.22%) are men, according to State Election Commission data.

A total of 830,370 voters (45.77%) exercised their right to vote by 7 pm, according to the Commission.

Voters hit the polls to vote with strict health safety protocols in place to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus. Those included face masks, 1 meter – 1,5 meter distance, and use of hand sanitizers before entering and exiting polling stations.

The diaspora will not take part in these elections, an insufficient number of Macedonian nationals living abroad had registered to vote. However, they will be able to cast their ballots if they’re currently in North Macedonia.

The State Election Commission (SEC) said Tuesday that 7,861 homebound and infirm, 1,235 inmates, and 234 persons in retirement homes exercised their voting right on the second day of voting at the early parliamentary elections.

The voting process started on Monday, when 723 COVID-19 patients and people in self-isolation cast their ballots.

The 2020 early parliamentary elections in North Macedonia were previously scheduled for April 12, but were postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

For several weeks, over 100 new coronavirus cases have been registered in North Macedonia daily. However, the country has been without Parliament since February, governed by a caretaker government, whose primary function is to organize fair and democratic election.

Wednesday’s vote was monitored by 2,709 domestic and foreign observers. 57 foreign reporters from 15 media outlets were accredited by the State Election Commission to cover North Macedonia’s elections.

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