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Mayoral Candidate Kostovski Accepts Penov’s Defeat, Questions Motives

March 30, 2005

( Research Service)- Today arrived news that incumbent Risto Penov has chosen to drop out of the race for Skopje’s mayor, thereby handing power to rival Trifun Kostovski.

Now, Mr. Kostovski has reacted to the announcement, both welcoming Penov’s decision while charging that it was part of the government’s attempt to legitimatize his own “stolen victory” in the first round.

According to the opposition led by VMRO-DPMNE, Penov’s concession came too late. The party charged that to be truly magnanimous, Penov should have conceded following the March 13 first round. The party characterized Penov’s move as a way for the government to flee relatively unscathed.

“The concession of Penov is merely an exiting from the battlefield, in order for the government to incur less damage. This step came because they had no [other] exit,” said a spokesman.

This bitter reaction from the winning side shows that, no matter how much Penov tries to portray himself as a gracious and self-sacrificing politician, all will not be forgotten so quickly.

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