Macedonia – Snap election called

There will be a snap parliamentary in Macedonia on 5 June. The previous parliamentary election was held in June 2008. At that election, the coalition led by the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization – Democratic Party for Macedonian National Unity (VMRO–DPMNE) won a small majority. At the presidential election in April 2009 the VMRO–DPMNE candidate was successful.

A crisis has been brewing in Macedonia since the end of January. At that time, the opposition parties in the legislature walked out of parliament and boycotted proceedings. They did so because of a court decision that froze the bank account of the A1 TV station. They saw this decision as a limitation on freedom of speech. They have still not returned to the legislature. The opposition is led by former president, Branko Crvenkovski, who leads the Social Democratic Union of Macedonia (SDSM).

There have been various meetings between the government and the opposition to try to resolve the crisis. The opposition has been particularly wary of an election held on the basis of the old electoral register, which, it says, contains many inaccuracies.

While both the VMRO–DPMNE and the SDSM have accepted the need for early elections, it has been difficult to reach agreement on the details. Now, it seems as if an election will be held on 5 June. The SDSM party has agreed to take part in the election, but will not be returning to parliament.

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