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Macedonia Sets Date For Early Elections In December

Macedonia's political parties have agreed to hold early parliamentary elections on December 11 in an effort to resolve an 18-month-long crisis.

The agreement was reached after a U.S. and EU mediated meeting in Skopje on August 31.

In the six-hour meeting, the heads of the governing conservatives, the main opposition Social Democrats and two ethnic Albanian parties, also agreed on forming a cross-party body to monitor the electoral campaign.

The Balkan country has been in political turmoil since February 2015, following a wiretapping scandal in which the conversations of thousands of people were monitored.

Holding early elections was part of an internationally-brokered deal aimed at defusing the crisis.

According to the deal, lawmakers need to approve a caretaker government 100 days before the December elections.

The opposition will head the interior and labor ministries and will nominate deputy ministers in finance and agriculture.

Elections were first set for April, postponed to June, and again put off indefinitely.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters