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Northern Macedonia

Yearbook 2009

Northern Macedonia (until 2019 Macedonia). In January, presidential and municipal elections were announced until March. According to countryaah, all major parties agreed to reduce the requirement for turnout, from 50 to 40 percent, for an election result to be valid. In the first round of elections, the candidate for the ruling right-wing VMRO-DPMNE, Gjorge Ivanov, won 35 percent of the vote. The Social Democratic SDSM candidate Ljubomir Frckoski got 20 percent while two other candidates got around 15 percent each. The result meant that a second round of elections had to be held in April. Ivanov won over Frckoski with almost two-thirds of the vote. The turnout was 43 percent and thus reached the new minimum threshold.

2009 Northern Macedonia

When Ivanov succeeded Social Democrat Branko Crvenkovski in May, he promised to become "the president of all Macedonians". Foreign observers noted that the elections were conducted without violence and mainly in a democratic order, unlike last year's parliamentary elections. It contributed to positive signals from the EU in October about Macedonia's ability to start negotiations on membership in the Union.

A ferry accident on Lake Ohrid in June claimed the lives of 15 people. More than 50 tourists, most of them from Bulgaria, were aboard the boat when it overturned after a heavy turn. Most could be rescued from the water.

In September, the first edition of a new national encyclopedia was published, which immediately drew criticism. Albanians inside and outside Macedonia were upset by what they perceived as derogatory descriptions of the Albanian minority. Some criticism also came from elsewhere about lack of objectivity.

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