IPIS poll: majority of citizens believe elections did not resolve the political crisis, want a revote

A solid majority of Macedonian citizens believe that the December elections failed to resolve the political crisis, a poll conducted by the Institute for Political Research (IPIS) showed.

According to the poll, 65,5 percent of the citizens believe that the elections failed in their goal to resolve the two years long political crisis, while 23,2 percent believe they did and 11,3 percent had no opinion. Asked whether holding new general elections would be the way out of the crisis, 45,8 percent of the voters said yes. On the other hand, some 35,5 percent believe that President Gjorge Ivanov should give the mandate to form a Government to SDSM leader Zoran Zaev. Ivanov has refused to do so after SDSM adopted the controversial Tirana platform.

Broken down by ethnicity, 55,6 percent of Macedonians believe that there should be new elections, while 30,2 percent want Zaev to be given the mandate. Among ethnic Albanians, 55,5 percent favor giving Zaev the mandate, and only 9,2 percent called for early elections, with the "I don't know" answers amounting to 35,3 percent. Asked whether they approve President Ivanov's decision not to give the mandate to Zaev, 56,5 percent of the citizens agree, and 29,8 percent disagree.

VMRO-DPMNE has called for holding early elections, simultaneously with the municipal ones that should be held in the Spring. SDSM has refused this and demands the mandate to form a Government with three parties that represent ethnic Albanians.

IPIS also gauged support for the Special Prosecutor's Office. It's poll showed that exactly 50 percent of the voters believe that the office is under a political influence. Out of them, half believe that the SPO is influenced by the SDSM party and the other half think that the Special Prosecutor takes orders from foreign diplomats. About 33 percent said that they believe that the SPO is impartial. Asked whether it should have its mandate extended, citizens were evenly divided - with 40,6 percent for, and 41,7 percent against. Among ethnic Macedonians, 52 percent are against extending the mandate of prosecutor Katica Janeva, and 29,7 percent favor that option, while among ethnic Albanians, 80,7 percent are in favor with only 5 percent against.

A question on the direction of the country showed that 54,5 percent believe that the political situation has worsened compared to 2016, while about 18 percent of the public believe it has remained the same or has improved.

When asked about their political preference, the IPIS poll showed that 32,9 percent of ethnic Macedonians chose VMRO-DPMNE leader Nikola Gruevski, while 15 percent opted for his closest competitor, SDSM leader Zoran Zaev. President Gjorge Ivanov was the first choice for 3,9 percent of the voters. Some 27 percent did not chose a favorite politician.

Among ethnic Albanians, DUI leader Ali Ahmeti is supported by 20 percent of the public, followed by Zaev with 8,4 percent. Bilal Kasami from BESA won the support of 5 percent of the voters and Zijadin Sela has the support of 4,2 percent, almost even with Menduh Thaci with 3,8 percent. A full 46 percent of ethnic Albanian voters did not choose a favorite politician. The corresponding number among ethnic Macedonians was 27 percent.


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