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Macedonia's Ruling Party Claims Victory In Municipal Elections

A man casts his ballot at a polling station in Skopje.
A man casts his ballot at a polling station in Skopje.
Macedonia’s ruling Democratic Party for Macedonian National Unity has declared victory in the country’s local elections.

The right-wing party, led by Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski, announced on March 25 that it has received about 45 percent of the vote.

The vote count is still under way and the final results are expected later on March 25.

The opposition, led by the Social Democratic Union, denounced the March 24 municipal elections, saying they were not free and fair.

Election officials report that turnout topped 67 percent of the 1.7 million eligible voters in 80 municipalities.

Despite tensions between ethnic Macedonians and ethnic Albanians, the Interior Ministry in Skopje said balloting was carried out peacefully.

But monitors from the nongovernmental organization Civil told journalists they witnessed a large number of voting irregularities.

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