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Macedonian President-Elect Greets Supporters

29 April 2004 -- Macedonian Prime Minister Branko Crvenkovski greeted supporters today after his victory in the country's presidential election.

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

The Central Election Commission says preliminary results show Crvenkovski received about 63 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 has vowed to work for his country's membership in the European Union, and to solidify peace after an ethnic Albanian guerrilla insurgency brought Macedonia close to civil war three years ago.

Crvenkovski's rival Sasko Kedev took about 37 percent of the vote, and has vowed to present "solid evidence" of voter fraud.

The election was necessary after president Boris Trajkovski was killed in a plane crash in February.