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Macedonia: Parliament Set To Ratify Accord

Skopje, 31 October 2001 (RFE/RL) -- The Macedonian parliament is due to open a session today to try to ratify a Western-designed peace accord. The deal includes 15 constitutional changes aimed at improving rights for the country's ethnic Albanian community, which makes up about one-third of Macedonia's 2 million people.

One of the main ethnic Albanian parties, the Party of Democratic Prosperity, yesterday said it would vote against some key provisions of the accord. Party officials charged that the new European Union-brokered version of the preamble to the constitution contradicts the Ohrid framework peace deal agreed in August.

Macedonia's three other main parties could still ratify the deal by themselves, because they hold a two-thirds majority in the parliament.

Ethnic Albanian rebels declared themselves disbanded after surrendering some 4,000 weapons to NATO.