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Macedonia's New President Pledges Peace


29 April 2004 -- Macedonian Prime Minister Branko Crvenkovski has been elected president by a wide margin.

He told supporters today that the election was fair, and he pledged to keep the ethnically troubled country at peace while working for Macedonia's membership in the European Union.

"Today, Macedonia has elected its new president in a democratic, regular, peaceful, and fair election," Crvenkovski said.

Crvenkovski succeeds former President Boris Trajkovski, who was killed in a plane crash in February.

The Central Election Commission says final results show Crvenkovski received 62 percent in the second-round run-off vote yesterday. The commission said voter turnout was 53 percent, above the 50 percent minimum needed for the election to be valid.

Crvenkovski's rival Sasko Kedev won about 37 percent. Kedev says he will present what he called "solid evidence" of voter fraud.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) today said that despite some irregularities, the election met democratic standards. (AP, Reuters)
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