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Conservative wins presidential run-off in Macedonia


ATHENS, April 6 (RIA Novosti) - The candidate of Macedonia's ruling conservative party won a landslide victory in Sunday's presidential polls, election officials said on Monday.

With almost all the votes counted, Gjorgje Ivanov led the run-off with 63.4%. His Social Democratic rival Ljubomir Frckoski received 36.6%, the election commission said, adding turnout was only slightly above the required 40%.

During his campaign, Ivanov had vowed to secure NATO and EU membership for the former Yugoslav republic without concessions to Greece, which has blocked its NATO bid demanding Macedonia first change its name. Athens fears Macedonia could claim a Greek province of the same name.

The president is a largely ceremonial post in Macedonia, but Ivanov's victory will consolidate the power of the prime minister, fellow-conservative Nikola Gruevski.

European Union monitors said no major violations or violence took place during the poll.

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