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Macedonia Starts Election Campaign With Only One Party Participating


A protestor burns a picture of Macedonia's former Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski. The Balkan country has been in political turmoil since February 2015 over a wiretapping scandal.

A protestor burns a picture of Macedonia's former Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski. The Balkan country has been in political turmoil since February 2015 over a wiretapping scandal.

Macedonia has officially launched the start of the campaign period for elections that are scheduled for June 5.

But only one party is participating -- the one heading the governing coalition of former Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski's conservative VMRO-DPMNE.

The opposition Social Democrats have announced a boycott of the elections, saying the conditions for a free and fair election do not exist.

The two main parties of the country's minority ethnic Albanians also have joined the boycott and are refusing to submit candidate lists.

The European Union and United States have urged Macedonia to postpone the election, for which campaigning was launched on May 16.

The U.S. Embassy said the fact that just one party submitted candidate lists "underscores and amplifies concerns that conditions are not conducive to credible elections."

Macedonia has been in political turmoil since February 2015 over a wiretapping scandal.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters
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