The second round of the municipal elections in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia took place on 29 October, following the first round held on 15 October. The elections were observed by the OSCE/ODIHR Election Observation Mission, which in their preliminary statements assesses that the elections in both rounds were competitive and held in an environment respecting fundamental freedoms, with some shortcomings identified.
All stakeholders now need to implement the recommendations made by the OSCE/ODIHR observers, which will allow the relevant state institutions to further improve their capacities well ahead of the next election cycle. The European Union is ready to offer support in this regard.
Any concerns or complaints by participants in the elections should be addressed to the relevant national authorities following the established procedures and within the deadlines. It is important that all leaders act responsibly, to strengthen citizens' trust in national institutions and political processes.
These local elections give a clear mandate to the new mayors and members of the municipals councils on how the citizens would like their local government to be shaped in their municipalities. The focus should now be on moving the EU reform agenda forward through an inclusive process in the interests of all citizens.