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Macedonia Opposition Claims Government Rigged Elections

The main opposition party in Macedonia has published what it is says is fresh evidence of government vote-manipulation in three recent elections.

At a party rally in Skopje on March 10, Zoran Zaev's Social Democrats released what they said were recorded conversations between conservative government officials and Macedonia's intelligence chief.

Zaev repeated calls for conservative Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski to hand over power to an interim government that would ensure "free and fair elections."

The party claimed the officials discussed vote-buying and intimidation ahead of 2011 and 2014 parliamentary elections, and 2013 local elections.

Zaev has claimed that Gruevski was behind the alleged illegal wiretapping of more than 20,000 people, including politicians, judges, journalists, police, religious leaders and foreign ambassadors.

Gruevski denies wrongdoing, claiming the recordings were fabricated with the help of foreign spies. He has accused Zaev of plotting a coup.

Based on reporting by AP

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