11 April 2005 -- International observers said today that the latest round of local elections in Macedonia was again marred by irregularities.
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe said in a statement today that yesterday's voting took place in a calm atmosphere, but with low voter participation and that irregularities were observed in a number of municipalities.
Among those the OSCE listed ballot box stuffing and group voting.
The OSCE said many of these irregularities were observed in two previous rounds last month but that authorities did not take measures to address them.
Prime Minister Vlado Buckovski praised the voting as a "model" for future elections.
Repeat run-off local elections were held yesterday in 22 municipalities. Official results are expected by 13 April.