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Thousands Protest Against Government In Macedonia Ahead Of Vote

Thousands of Macedonians joined an opposition rally against the government on October 11.

Thousands of Macedonians took to the streets to participate in a peaceful antigovernment protest, two months ahead of scheduled national elections.

The demonstration in the capital, Skopje, on October 11 was organized by the main opposition party, the Social Democrats.

"We are writing history, toppling a regime, getting back our freedom," opposition leader Zoran Zaev told the rally in front of the parliament building, where the march ended.

"Our weapon is our vote," Zaev said as protesters waved Macedonian national flags and chanted "Freedom, freedom!" and "The fight continues!"

Macedonia has been in political turmoil since February 2015 following a massive wiretapping scandal in which the conversations of more than 20,000 people were monitored.

The governing conservative party VMRO-DPMNE, led by former Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski, was largely blamed for the wiretaps.

Party leaders agreed last month to hold early national elections on December 11 as part of a Western-brokered deal to end the political crisis. But the election date has already been postponed twice this year.

Based on reporting by AP and AFP