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Macedonian PM Denies Snap Polls Allegations January 6, 2010

Posted by Yilan in Macedonia.
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Macedonian Prime Minister and leader of the main ruling VMRO DPMNE party, Nikola Gruevski denied allegations that he is mulling the option for staging early elections, but left a small window open such a move later next year.

“We are not planning such a thing now,” Gruevski told media Wednesday. He was not precise what he means by that and whether there is a possibility for snap polls in the spring.

Gruevski stated that he understands the fear among the opposition at the possibility of early elections since their option has no support among voters.

Amid growing speculations that the ruling party is considering snap polls, yesterday the opposition leader, Branko Crvenkovski, who is leading the Social Democrats, SDSM, warned that early elections in the next six months would be devastating for the country’s EU and NATO membership ambitions.

“This would undoubtedly mean that Macedonia is willingly giving up its perhaps last chance that the EU is giving us in the foreseeable future”, Crvenkovski pointed out.

The country must instead use the next six months to intensely seek a solution to the burning name spat with Greece which has become the only obstacle for its admission to NATO and for start of its accession talks with the European Union, he argued.

Earlier this month the EU council of ministers postponed for six months a decision on extending a date for the start of accession negotiations due to Greece’s objection.

Last year PM Gruevski initiated snap polls almost immediately after the negative outcome for his country at the Bucharest NATO summit, where Greece vetoed Macedonia’s entry into the Alliance. Observers say his convincing victory on those polls was largely due to the image he built in the public as a patriotic defender of the country’s name.

Local media speculate that the most likely time for yet another general election is this spring.

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