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Macedonia Parties Agree On Path To April Election

Embattled Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski
Embattled Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski

Under a deal brokered by the European Union, Macedonia's main opposition party will return to parliament and the prime minister will resign ahead of elections next year.

Emerging from overnight talks in Skopje early on July 15, EU Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn said the agreement was signed by the leaders of four political parties.

Under the deal, the opposition Social Democrats will return to parliament in September, ending a boycott since early 2014 over what it says was a rigged vote, and conservative Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski will resign 100 days ahead of elections set for April 24, 2016.

Gruevski has been hit by a scandal over alleged widespread phone-tapping that brought tens of thousands of people onto the streets in May.

A special prosecutor is to be appointed to investigate the scandal.

Based on reporting by Reuters and dpa