Only two mayors and 17% of municipalities councillors in North Macedonia are young people


Apart from women and persons with disabilities, the young people are yet another group that in regard of the political participation, is one of the most marginalized in North Macedonia.

Although a quarter of the population are young people aged up to 29, only 3% of the mayoral candidates at the local elections that took place in October were young people. Out of these, only two were elected mayors, show the results of the research conducted during the local elections in North Macedonia by the Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD).

The authors of this research – Jovana Gjorgjiovska and Blažen Maleski, during the presentation “Delayed Youth Participation – Local Elections 2021” stressed that the youth needs a longer time to decide to take part in politics. The majority of people enter the local politics as mayors or candidates for municipalities councils 5 to 10 years after reaching an elderly age in accordance with the Law on the Youth Participation and the Youth Oolicies.

The young people in this country have much greater chances to be elected as municipal councillors than as mayors or MPs.


Only 2,5 % of the mayors are young people

Only 3% of the mayoral candidates were young people. The deposited candidatures by the political parties, coalitions and independent groups n 79 municipalities were analyzed, excluding the municipalities of Centar Župa and Mavrovo and Rostuše, where the mayoral elections are still ongoing.

Out of the analyzed 299 mayoral candidates, 8.3% were women and only 3% were young women. In general, the young were proposed as candidates in only 11% of the municipalities.

It is interesting to stress the data that two-thirds of the young candidates were proposed in rural municipalities.

“This means that the young have a lot more access into the political life in the rural municipalities, which was interesting for u,s because the majority of the young people are studying in other bigger municipalities or in the city of Skopje,” stressed the authors of the study.

A total of 43 political subjects didn’t propose young candidates for mayors, including the candidatures supported by independent groups of citizens.

Most young candidates were proposed by SDSM and its coalition, a total of three. Two were proposed by BESA and one by TMORO, the Macedonian Third Era, VMRO-DPMNE and its coalition, and the coalition between LDP and DOM, each.

The average age of the elected mayors is 42.67 years. At the same time, the lowest average age of 38 years was registered among the mayors in the southeastern region.


Young candidates can mostly be found in the second half of the electoral lists for the municipalities councils

The presence of young people is more evident on the lists of candidates for municipalities councils and 26.4% of the candidates for the municipalities councils at last local elections were young people. This number is more than enough, said the authors of the research but still, out of the elected candidates for municipal councils, only 17.4% were young people aged up to 29. The reason behind this is that most of the proposed young candidates were located at the lower parts of the candidate lists, and therefore their chances of being elected were low.

Out of 10,532 candidates for municipal councils in 81 municipalities, 45% were women. The average age of council candidates was 39.91.

When it comes to bearers of the electoral lists for municipalities councils, only 7 political parties and coalitions, including 6 independent groups of selections have proposed younger holders. High 70% of all political subjects that have taken part in the local elections didn’t propose a single younger holder of the candidate lists.

Over 55% of the young bearers of lists for municipal councils were proposed in the rural municipalities, and 32% in urban municipalities. Almost 12% of the young bearers were proposed in municipalities within the Skopje area while in the candidate lists for the advisory council in the City of Skopje there wasn’t a single young holder.

The average age of the elected 1,347 counselors is 39.6 years. Out of them, 36.2 are women.

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