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Macedonia: Opposition Declares Victory In Polls

Skopje, 11 September 2000 (RFE/RL) - Macedonia's opposition declared it has scored a "great victory" in local elections yesterday. The leader of the For Macedonia Together group, Branko Crvenkovski said the opposition grouping won in Skopje, Ohrid, Stip, Kocani, Veles, Gevgelija, and elsewhere. Crvenkovski says he hopes Prime Minister Ljubco Georgievski will abide by his pledge and call early parliamentary elections. Georgievski had promised to hold early parliamentary elections if the government coalition lost the local polls by more than 10 percent.

Around 60 percent of the 1.6 million voters turned out to vote yesterday, but clashes among ethnic Albanians and reported violations prompted the electoral authorities to suspend voting in at least three polling stations.

Eight people were injured in clashes between members of two ethnic Albanian parties in western Macedonia and villages around Skopje.