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Europe

Gjorge Ivanov wins presidential runoff in Macedonia

Macedonia's ruling party presidential candidate has won a landslide victory in Sunday's runoff poll. Gjorgje Ivanov of the conservative party beat Social Democratic rival Ljubomir Frckoski.

Presidential candidate Gjorge Ivanov talsk to journalist after casting his ballot

Gjorge Ivanov, presidential candidate talks to the media

Macedonia's ruling party presidential candidate has won a landslide victory. The opposition candidate Ljubomir Frckoski conceded defeat on Sunday to ruling party candidate Gjorge Ivanov, giving the VMRO-DPMNE party a complete grip on political power in the Balkan country.

"I use this opportunity to congratulate Ivanov on the victory," Frckovski told his Social Democrat supporters just after midnight.

Macedonia had hoped to hold peaceful and fair elections after violence including one death marred 2008 parliamentary voting. Observers said voting in Sunday's poll passed off without any major incidents.

The election is considered important in the former Yugoslavian province's attempt to join both the European Union and NATO military alliance. A dispute with Athens over the name Macedonia has hindered the opening of assession talks. Greece claims the name for its northern province.