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Attempted Violations Reported In Macedonia Vote

27 March 2005 -- There were early, isolated reports of attempts to tamper with voting as Macedonians went to the polls today in run-off municipal elections.

The Associated Press reports that two men were arrested near the northern town of Kumanovo on charges of tampering. A similar incident was reported in southern Macedonia.

International observers said the first round two weeks ago was marred by numerous irregularities.

Voting in the second round is being held in 57 out of the country's 84 municipalities, with 150 candidates running. Some 1.7 million people are eligible to vote.

The polls follow the controversial redrawing of municipal borders to boost local autonomy for the ethnic Albanian minority, under reforms demanded by the European Union.