X Close

World

Published: Saturday March 1, 2014 MYT 11:41:02 PM
Updated: Saturday March 1, 2014 MYT 11:42:07 PM

Macedonia poised for early parliamentary vote after ruling coalition spat

Macedonia's President Gjorge Ivanov listens during a news conference in Riga April 27, 2012. Ivanov is on a three-day state visit to Latvia. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins

Macedonia's President Gjorge Ivanov listens during a news conference in Riga April 27, 2012. Ivanov is on a three-day state visit to Latvia. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins

SKOPJE (Reuters) - Macedonia is set to call early parliamentary elections in a bid to end a political deadlock sparked by the two main ruling coalition members' failure to agree on a candidate for the upcoming presidential vote, officials said on Saturday.

The ethnic Albanian Democratic Union for Integration (DUI), a junior coalition member, was angered by its larger partner VMRO-DPMNE's decision to nominate current president Gjorge Ivanov as its candidate.

DUI argued Ivanov, who would run for a second term, was not "consensual" candidate acceptable to both Albanians and Macedonians, who are ethnic Slavs.

It filed a motion on Saturday to dissolve parliament which is expected to be debated by MPs next week.

Conservative Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski's VMRO-DPMNE party accepted the challenge and it was ready for an early vote.

"We accept the glove thrown down by DUI and we are going on early parliamentary elections," Gruevski told his supporters at the VMRO-DPMNE presidential convention on Saturday.

VMRO-DPMNE is the single strongest party in parliament and enjoys high popularity among Macedonians. Together with DUI they have enough votes to pass the motion for an early vote.

Ethnic Albanians represent a third of Macedonia's 2 million population, and relations with Macedonians have been tense since 2001, when an ethnic conflict almost plunged the country into civil war.

A parliamentary vote could change the makeup of the ruling coalition but is unlikely to result in a significant change in the composition of parliament given the opposition's weak position, according to opinion polls.

Parliamentary elections were previously scheduled to be held next year. Local media said that most probably the early vote would be scheduled for the same time as the second presidential round.

Ivanov's five-year term ends this spring and the first round of the presidential election is scheduled for April 13.

If there is no winner, a second round of voting for the largely ceremonial post would be held two weeks later.

advertisement

  1. Lorry slams into cars, catches fire at Sunway toll booth on Kesas Highway
  2. MH17: Najib's 'silent diplomatic' approach worked, says NYT
  3. MH17: Opposition leaders laud Najib's quiet diplomacy
  4. Kiki fined RM5,000 for causing mischief and damage
  5. MH17: Malaysia receives black boxes from Ukrainian rebels
  6. MH17: Black boxes to be handed over to Malaysia, says Najib
  7. Why did these children have to die?
  8. MH17: Russian Ambassador to Malaysia speaks up
  9. MH17: Dutch father - 'Thank you for killing my daughter'
  10. Iconic A&W outlet in PJ to be demolished

advertisement

advertisement