Sunday

21st Oct 2018

Macedonians back new president

Branko Crvenkovski appears to have won the first round of Macedonia’s presidential race, weeks after the country applied to become an EU member.

Early results indicate that the current prime minister has beaten his nearest rival Sasko Kedev, but has not received enough votes to avoid a second round of voting.

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The elections were called after the death of president Boris Trajkovski in a plane crash in February.

Four candidates are battling to replace him, two ethnic Macedonians and two ethnic Albanians who have been knocked out in the first round.

No violence was reported and troubles between the ethnic Albanian minority and the Macedonian majority appear to have been avoided.

Integration with the EU has been a key issue in the electoral campaign, with Mr Crvenkovski describing himself as "convinced pro-European" who will lift his country "out of the Balkan grime".

Macedonia formally handed in its application to join the European Union last month and hopes to become a member by 2010.

But the economic plight of the countries appears to have been a major issue in voters minds.

The second round of voting will take place on 28 April.

Europe and Asia seek stable relations in troubled times

Covering two-third of the world's economic output and governing more than half of the world's population, the Europe and Asian leaders' summit in Brussels on Friday tests potentials for outlining a post-Trump world order.

EU looks at Morocco and Tunisia to offload migrants

EU member states and the European Commission are pressing ahead with plans to possibly use Morocco and Tunisia as countries to offload asylum seekers and migrants - part of larger bid to create a so-called "safe third country" list.

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