In the runoff local elections in North Macedonia on Sunday, only two female candidates won enough votes to be elected mayors. The remaining 79 municipality mayor’s posts were taken by men. The exceptions are the future mayor of the capital Skopje, Danela Arsovska, who as an independent candidate was supported by the opposition party VMRO-DPMNE, and Zhaklina Jovanovska of SDSM, who is the new mayor of the municipality of Staro Nagorichane, indicate the initial unofficial results of the State Election Commission (SEC).
This negative gender ratio among the mayors’ mandates occurs after the first round of the local elections, when no woman candidate managed to win a municipal mayor’s post.
In the second round of the local elections in North Macedonia on Sunday, Teuta Arifi from BDI in Tetovo lost to her opponent from the BESA party, Biljal Kasami. In Arachinovo, SDSM’s candidate Milikije Halimi lost to Ridvan Ibraimi from BDI. In the municipality of Centar in Skopje, the VMRO-DPMNE’s candidate Natasha Kotlar – Trajkova lost to Goran Gerasimovski of SDSM. In the municipality of Makedonska Kamenica, SDSM’s candidate Sonja Stamenkova lost in the second round of the voting process to Dimcho Atanasovski of VMRO-DPMNE.
This dire situation is a result of the fact that in North Macedonia there aren’t any quotas for balanced gender representation in the mayoral posts at the municipalities. With only two elected mayors for this year, North Macedonia has reached the second infamous result after the elections in 2009, when not a single woman was elected as a mayor in any of the municipalities in then Republic of Macedonia.
The current results of both rounds of this year’s local elections is worst than 4 years ago, when 6 women candidates were elected mayors of municipalities.