SKOPJE, Macedonia – Candidates supported by Macedonia's left-led government have dominated local elections, preliminary results from Sunday's runoff show.
Results on the state electoral commission's website Monday gave government-backed candidates victory in 57 of 81 municipalities, including the capital, Skopje. Candidates backed by the main opposition VMRO-DPMNE conservatives won five posts.
The election took place amid bitter rivalry between Prime Minister Zoran Zaev's new Social Democrat-led government and VMRO-DPMNE, which had governed for a decade.
The first round was held Oct. 15. Past elections in Macedonia have been marred by claims of vote-rigging or voter intimidation.
But the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, which monitored the elections, said the second round of voting showed "respect for fundamental freedoms."