SKOPJE, Macedonia, Oct. 16 (Xinhua) -- The ruling Social Democrats claimed victory in most of the municipalities at Sunday's local elections in Macedonia.
According to initial results, the Social Democratic Union of Macedonia (SDSM) won the votes for mayors and members of the local councils in more than 40 municipalities in the Southeast European country.
The people have given their verdict, said Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, who heads the SDSM. "They gave their support for our policies. Our obligation now is even bigger and no excuses are allowed. We promise to serve citizens and to listen to their orders," Zaev said.
The main opposition party, VMRO DPMNE, questioned its losses with its leader Nikola Gruevski alleging the elections were neither free nor fair.
Some experts said the convincing victory could encourage Zaev to advance parliamentary elections.
"(Parliamentary) elections could happen as early as the coming year. The SDSM would want to ride this wave of public support and (obtain) majority in parliament," political analyst Vladimir Bozinovski told Xinhua.
Currently, the SDSM leads a minority government with two coalition partners. Zaev became prime minister on May 31 this year.