Parliamentary election begins in N. Macedonia as EU promises membership talks
Voting has begun in a parliamentary election in North Macedonia that may decide the pace of its bid for European Union membership. The governing pro-EU Social Democrats are locked in a close race with the main opposition nationalists.
The vote was originally scheduled for April but postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak. The country of two million people has reported 8,332 infections and 389 deaths.
PM Zoran Zaev put the country on the path towards EU membership by agreeing to add ‘North’ to its name. Opposition party VMRO-DPMNE, led by Hristijan Mickoski, has opposed the name change, and it also accuses Zaev’s Social Democratic Union of Macedonia (SDSM) of corruption and cronyism, which they deny.
Parliament dissolved in February following the resignation of Zaev after the EU declined to set a date for membership negotiations. A month later the EU announced that talks could begin, again setting no date. Diplomats said it would likely be later this year, Reuters reports.