North Macedonia's governing coalition candidate Stevo Pendarovski gained the largest number of votes in the first round of the presidential elections on Sunday, according to the State Election Commission (SEC).
Prime Minister Zoran Zaev confirmed Pendarovski's victory in the first round at a press conference late Sunday.
The SEC website showed that with over 99 percent of the ballots counted, Pendarovski has secured 42.84 percent of the votes.
Pendarovski is followed by the main opposition VMRO-DPMNE Party candidate Gordana Siljanovska-Davkova with 42.24 percent of the votes.
The only Albanian candidate Blerim Reka has received 10.58 percent of the votes.
The SEC said the turnout in Sunday's elections was 41.80 percent. Since none of the three candidates have secured over 50 percent of the votes to win the race, Pendarovski and his main rival Siljanovska-Davkova will face a run-off scheduled for May 5.
Polling stations throughout the country opened at 7 a.m. local time (0500 GMT) and closed at 7 p.m. (1700 GMT) on Sunday. The final result of the first round will be announced on Monday.