Election Snapshot

Elections in North Macedonia: 2024 Parliamentary Elections


North Macedonia will hold parliamentary elections on Wednesday, May 8. The elections take place amid political tensions within the country, increased disillusionment with democratic reforms, and aspirations of European Union membership.  

Ahead of this important electoral process, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) provides Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Elections in North Macedonia: Parliamentary Election.  

Learn more about IFES's work in North Macedonia and follow @IFES_Europe and @IFES1987 on Twitter.  

Additionally, visit IFES's Election Guide for the most comprehensive and timely verified election information available online.  

For more information and details, please find the full FAQs in PDF at the bottom of the page.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


The Republic of North Macedonia will hold parliamentary elections on Wednesday, May 8, 2024. Voting will take place from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. in 3,360 polling stations across the country. Voting will be organized one day prior to Election Day for voters who are sick or infirm, in prison or detention, under home arrest or in non-family care institutions, and internally displaced persons.


Parliamentary polls will take place in North Macedonia in a dynamic political environment and among certain ethnic and political tensions in the country. Elections were originally planned for early July, but it was moved up to coincide with the date of the second round of the presidential election, which the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization – Democratic Party for Macedonian National Unity (VMRO DPMNE)’s Gordana Siljanovska Davkova and the Social Democrats’ Stevo Pendarovski will participate in.  Scheduling both elections for the same day is widely considered a strategy to obtain the 40 percent voter turnout required for the results to be valid, as fewer citizens vote in presidential than parliamentary elections.  

Tensions have risen within parliament after the main opposition Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization – Democratic Party for Macedonian National Unity (VMRO DPMNE) and other parties criticized the ruling Social Democrat (SDSM) for bowing to Greek and Bulgarian demands through the 2018 Prespa Agreement and the passage of a law recognizing Bulgarians as an ethnic minority, respectively. Both moves were related to European Union (EU) accession and proved unpopular among many in North Macedonia as a result of longstanding cultural and ethnic disputes. With EU accession negotiations ongoing since 2022, North Macedonia is pursuing a path toward European integration. Its EU accession is contingent on implementing constitutional reforms, including formal recognition of ethnic Bulgarians as a minority group in the country.


Seventeen political entities have submitted candidate lists for the parliamentary election. These include five coalitions, 11 political parties, and one independent group of voters. Thirteen entities submitted candidate lists for all six electoral districts, and four entities submitted lists for fewer than six electoral districts. Among the larger political contestants to submit candidate lists are the following: 

  • European Future Coalition, led by the Social Democratic Union of Macedonia (SDSM, the Social Democrats), which has been in power as the main government coalition partner since 2017. The coalition consists of SDSM and 13 smaller political parties. 

  • Your Macedonia Coalition, led by the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization – Democratic Party for Macedonian National Unity (VMRO-DPMNE), the main opposition party, which was in power from 2006 to 2016. The coalition consists of VMRO-DPMNE and 23 smaller political parties. 

  • European Front Coalition, led by the Democratic Union for Integration (DUI), the largest party among ethnic Albanian voters and the second-largest partner in the current government coalition. It has been in power continuously since 2008. The coalition consists of DUI and eight smaller parties. 

  • VLEN Coalition, branded as the united Albanian opposition bloc, the main rival of DUI among ethnic Albanian voters. The coalition comprises several parties: the Democratic Movement; BESA; Alternativa; part of the Alliance for Albanians party, and supporters of the Self-Determination Party of Kosovar Prime Minister Albin Kurti. 

  • The Levica (Socialist) party, formed in 2015. Two members of Parliament were party members in the previous parliamentary term, and the party is vying to position itself as the third main party among Macedonian voters. 

  • ZNAM (For Our Macedonia), a new party formed just months before the elections. It consists primarily of former members of the ruling SDSM party, and is expected to gain several seats in Parliament. Thus, it could play a crucial role in the post-election process for forming the new government. 

  • Brave for Macedonia Coalition, composed of the political parties Citizen Option for Macedonia (GROM), Macedonian Conservative Party, and the Party for Full Emancipation of Roma.


The 120 members of North Macedonia’s Parliament (MPs) will be elected through closed-list proportional representation system. The country is divided into six electoral districts, each of which will elect 20 MPs. Seats in Parliament will be allocated according to the D’Hondt method. To nominate MPs, registered political parties, coalitions, and groups of voters may submit candidate lists to the State Election Commission for approval. When the submitter of a list of candidates for MPs is a group of voters, the group must collect the signatures of at least 1 percent of voters registered on the voter list of the relevant electoral district. MPs are elected to a four-year mandate and have no term limits.


Elections in North Macedonia are regulated primarily by the Electoral Code, last updated in March and April 2024, after the elections were announced. The legal framework also includes the Constitution, updated in 2019, the Law on Political Parties, the Law on Financing Political Parties, the Law on Prevention of Corruption and Conflict of Interest, the Criminal Code, and regulations adopted by the State Election Commission to supplement the Electoral Code. North Macedonia is a member of major international and regional instruments related to the holding of democratic elections.


A citizen of North Macedonia may run for Parliament if he or she is at least 18 years old and has legal capacity. Citizens who have been sentenced to more than six months of prison and have not started serving the sentence, and those in prison for committing a criminal offense, cannot run for Parliament.


The State Election Commission (SEC) is North Macedonia’s primary election management body. It comprises a president, vice president, and five members. Currently, only two of the seven members are women – less than the required 30 percent. Opposition political parties nominate the president and two members of the SEC, and the ruling political parties nominate the vice-president and three members. Members of Parliament select nominees through a two-thirds majority. Upon election, all members of the SEC serve five-year terms. 

For this election, lower-level election bodies include 80 municipal election commissions (MECs) and 3,480 election boards (EBs). Each MEC consists of five members and their deputies, selected randomly from among public servants. MEC members serve five-year terms, and EB members serve four-year terms. Three of the five members of each EB are public servants, and two are political appointees. Each has a deputy. 

The SEC, MECs, and EBs are responsible for the administration of the entire electoral process, maintaining the voter list and voter registration, counting and tabulating results, resolving election disputes, managing election security arrangements and election observation, and other duties specified by the government. All election management bodies are responsible for safeguarding legality in the preparation and administration of elections in accordance with the Electoral Code.


Voters with disabilities or who are illiterate can choose a person to assist them in voting. Additionally, election boards are required to facilitate voting for persons with disabilities who cannot enter a polling station. Persons with disabilities can check the accessibility of polling stations on the State Election Commission’s website and decide to vote from home or to vote in person, either with assistance or independently.  

Voters who are unable to vote at a polling station due to incapacity or illness may notify the Municipal Election Commission not later than seven days prior to Election Day. Those voters can cast their ballots in a special ballot box from home one day before Election Day. 

Voters in non–family care institutions were able to register to vote in the institution by submitting a request to the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy not later than the date when public inspection of the voters’ list ended. They will vote one day prior to Election Day. 


Upon receipt of results from polling stations, municipal election commissions (MECs) enter them electronically into a preliminary protocol and immediately make them available on the State Election Commission (SEC) website. Once MECs submit their tabulations, the SEC announces preliminary results. It will review MEC protocols and announce final results immediately, or no later than 24 hours from when the results become final.


Any citizen whose individual voting right has been violated during the election process may submit a complaint in writing to the State Election Commission (SEC) directly or through the relevant Municipal Election Commission (which will forward it to the SEC) within 48 hours of the violation. The 48-hour period begins when the mail is sent. The SEC must reach a decision within four hours after receiving the complaint. Its decision may be appealed to the Administrative Court within 48 hours of receipt of the decision. The Administrative Court then must render a decision within 48 hours after it receives the appeal.



IFES’s work in the Balkans includes over a decade of targeted electoral assistance in the region and over two decades of technical specialization on strengthening electoral processes. In light of recent political developments in North Macedonia, the will for reforms and more transparent, democratic processes has enabled IFES to increase its impact. In supporting North Macedonia’s ongoing democratic development, IFES delivers targeted assistance to a range of stakeholders – state institutions, political parties, civil society, and citizens – to increase their knowledge and understanding of the electoral process and international good practices.


These FAQs reflect decisions made by the State Election Commission of the Republic of North Macedonia as of the publication date to the best of our knowledge. This document does not represent any IFES policy or technical recommendations.