All three coalition partners put forward their own candidates, as did other parties.Tupurkovski was eliminated in the first round, and in the second round Boris Trajkovski, the VMRO candidate, defeated Tito Petkovski, from SDSM.Albanians rioted in Skopje in July 2014 after six ethnic Albanians were sentenced to life in prison for the murder of the five ethnic Macedonians in April 2012.The period after 1994 saw the further development of an illegal economy in Macedonia.Mistrust between Macedonians and Albanians nonetheless continued to rise.The war in Kosovo and post-war conditions there were widely taken as signs that NATO, and especially the USA, were now solidly pro-Albanian.(Turpurkovski waslater tried and convicted of embezzlement and misuse of public funds, and sentenced to three years in jail in April 2009.
Tupurkovski pledged economic recovery through foreign investment.
Violent clashes occurred between Albanians and security forces on several occasions: in Tetovo in 1995, when an Albanian-language university was opened, and in Gostivar two years later over the display of Turkish and Albanian flags at a local government office.
The most significant clashes were in 2001, when Macedonian Albanians demanded greater rights for their community.
The elections were marked by virulent anti-Albanian rhetoric from SDSM candidate Petkovski, and afterwards by opposition accusations of vote fraud, especially in areas with majority Albanian populations, where Trajkovski outpolled Petkovski by a massive margin.
Meanwhile, at the government level, cooperation between Albanian and Macedonian parties continued, including agreement on a university in Tetovo and progress toward greater decentralization.War profiteers benefited from smuggling during the years of international sanctions against Belgrade.Later, organized crime diversified their activities. President Gligorov was the target of a car bomb in 1995. Public discontent grew as stories of insider buy-outs of state assets became widely known, and other scandals broke, including the collapse of a pyramid savings bank in 1997.They chanted nationalist slogans and blamed ethnic Albanians for the deaths.