- Former Yugoslav republic to hold elections on June 5
- Opposition Social Democrats refuse to take part in vote
The parliament in the Republic of Macedonia dissolved, opening the way to a snap vote in an effort to end the country’s worst political crisis in a decade that started a year ago.
Lawmakers voted to dissolve the assembly to allow early elections on June 5 as negotiated between party leaders, MIA public newswire reported late Wednesday, citing Parliament Speaker Trajko Veljanoski in the capital Skopje. Zoran Zaev, the leader of the opposition Social Democratic Union, said his party won’t take part in the vote, citing irregularities that won’t allow fair campaigning and free elections.
“The electoral roll is not revised, media reforms have not been carried out,” Zaev said in a statement on the website of the Social Democratic Union. “SDSM will not participate in these fraudulent elections.”
Former Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski resigned Jan. 15 to allow the forming of an interim cabinet in the former Yugoslav republic. Gruevski’s government came under pressure last year over the leak of alleged wiretaps that purported to show abuses of power by officials including Gruevski, which the government has denied. The administration endured further woes last May when police clashed with armed groups the government described as Albanian terrorists in the northeastern town of Kumanovo, leaving 22 dead.