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Macedonian PM To Resign In Bid To End Crisis

Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski (file photo)
Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski (file photo)

The prime minister of the small Balkan nation of Macedonia has said he will submit his resignation on January 15 to pave the way for an early parliamentary election under a deal to end months of political uncertainty.

Nikola Gruevski made the announcement in a televised address to the nation on January 14.

"Tomorrow, to the speaker of parliament, I will submit my resignation letter, effective 100 days before the official date of the election," said Gruevski.

Under the deal, a candidate from Gruevski's conservative VMRO-DPMNE party will head a caretaker government until the snap election on April 24.

Last July's deal with the country's social-democrat main opposition -- following mediation from the European Union and the United States -- called for Gruevski to resign 100 days before the polls.

Macedonia was plunged into crisis after allegations by the opposition that the government illegally wire-tapped 20,000 people, including police, judges, journalists and foreign diplomats. The government denies the claims.

EU enlargement commissioner Johannes Hahn is due in Macedonia on January 15 for talks with Gruevski and opposition leaders on implementing the agreement.

With reporting by AP and Reuters

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