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Ethnic Albanians Boycott Macedonia Poll

For a first-round triumph, the winner must collect more than 50 percent of all registered voters.
Macedonia's presidential election on April 13 was largely boycotted by ethnic Albanian voters.

Albanians, who make up 25 percent of Macedonia's population, refrained from taking part in the western and northern parts of the country, where they are the majority.

The ethnic Albanian Democratic for Integrations party -- a junior partner in the government -- recommended that their voters boycott the poll after the ruling conservative VMRO-DPMNE party rejected their demands for a joint candidate.

Incumbent President Gjorge Ivanov, from the VMRO-DPMNE party, is seeking a second 5-year term. His main opponent, Stevo Pendarovski, is backed by the main opposition Social-Democrats.

Opinion polls showed Ivanov and Pendarovski almost certain to go to a second round on April 27.

The election of the largely ceremonial post of president has been overshadowed by the tough economic situation in the country.
Based of reporting by AP and AFP