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North Macedonia hits the polls in local elections

People in North Macedonia on Sunday are casting votes to elect mayors and council members of 80 municipalities in the country and the residents of Skopje are electing a mayor and a council of the capital.

Skopje, 17 October 2021 (MIA) – People in North Macedonia on Sunday are casting votes to elect mayors and council members of 80 municipalities in the country and the residents of Skopje are electing a mayor and a council of the capital.

A total of 1,824,864 voters are eligible to vote in 3,480 polling stations across the country, which open at 7 am and close at 7 pm.

299 candidates are vying for mayors and there are 572 lists of candidates running for municipal council members containing a total of 10,532 candidates.

The country for the first time is introducing biometric fingerprint devices to identify voters casting ballots in polling stations. The Commission has procured 4,000 devices from the German company “Dermalog” to be distributed to over 3,400 polling stations. Voters’ personal data contained in the electoral roll have been installed in the devices.

The local elections are also being held with COVID-19 protection protocols in place in polling stations with voters required to wear face masks and maintain social distancing.

The State Election Commission should release preliminary results from the local elections as they are being sent by the municipal election committees. Results based on data from records of the municipal election commissions are released within 12 hours after the polling stations are closed.

Furthermore, 1,045 local and foreign observers and translators have been accredited for Sunday’s local elections. According to data from the State Election Commission (SEC), 714 local observers will monitor the elections, including 512 observers of the AKSIOS 2017 Civil Association in Skopje, 190 from the CIVIL Liberty Center in Skopje, as well as 12 observers from the Institute of Economic Strategies and International Relations Ohrid-Skopje.

A total of 219 international observers and 40 translators have been accredited as well.

Runoff elections are scheduled on October 31.

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