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N. Macedonia holds presidential election, 1st vote under new name

North Macedonia holds the first round of its presidential election on Sunday. This is the country’s first vote under a new name, as it struggles with enduring economic problems and corruption. The vote for the largely ceremonial post comes less than three months after a deal with Athens on Skopje’s name change came into force. The move ended a decades-long identity dispute between the neighbors. The candidate of the ruling Social Democrats (SDSM) Stevo Pendarovski, 56, insists on a EU agenda. Pendarovski’s challengers are the right-wing Gordana Siljanovska-Davkova, backed by the main opposition VMRO-DPMNE party, and Blerim Reka, representing the ethnic Albanian minority. North Macedonia lost a quarter of its population between 2000 and 2015, AFP said, citing the World Bank.