SKOPJE, Oct. 22 (Xinhua) -- Macedonia's political parties and candidates for mayors resumed their electoral campaigning on Sunday for the upcoming runoff, announced Macedonia's election authority.
In the first round of voting, the ruling Social Democratic Union (SDSM) chaired by Prime Minister Zoran Zaev won 46 communes and the city of Skopje, one of the biggest administrative units in the country.
Meanwhile, the largest opposition party VMRO-DPMNE chaired by former PM Nikola Gruevski only won three communes while ethnic Albanian party DUI won one commune.
This means that 34 other communes in the country will hold a runoff on Oct. 29. Macedonia has 84 communes and the municipality of Skopje.
PM Zaev started electoral meetings Sunday afternoon in Kavadarci. He made a press statement where he declared that the local elections were free and fair, with only isolated disruptions.
Zaev noted that international institutions confirmed that Macedonia managed to guarantee free elections in response to the claims made by opposition leader Gruevski, who called the elections illegitimate.
Macedonia's electoral code requires the fulfillment of two criteria,according to Macedonia's State Elections Commission.
The first requires one third of eligible voters cast their votes. The second requires a candidate to take at least 50 percent of the votes cast in the municipality or commune where he or she runs. If these two criteria are met, then the election in that municipality or commune is considered closed; otherwise it goes to a second round.