Former president of Macedonia dies aged 94

Kiro Gligorov, the first democratically elected president of Macedonia who led his nation’s secession from the former Yugoslavia, has died aged 94.

The former president died in his sleep at home in the Macedonian capital, Skopje, on Sunday evening, a spokesperson said.

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Mr Gligorov became president of Macedonia in January 1991 when the country was still a Yugoslav republic. He led his countrymen through a referendum in which they voted for independence, and the territory of 2.1 million people became the only republic to secede from Yugoslavia without a war.

Mr Gligorov “proved how someone should lead the country and therefore undoubtedly has a historic role in recent Macedonian history,” former Parliament speaker Stojan Andov said.