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Macedonia goes to the polls

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Macedonia goes to the polls

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Macedonians are voting in an early general election which, it is hoped, will put plans for membership of the EU and NATO back on track.

Macedonia is one of Europe’s poorest countries. One third of the population lives below the poverty line and unemployment is more than 30 percent.

Economic reform is therefore a key priority.

The conservative party of popular Prime Minister Nicola Gruevski is facing a challenge from the Social Democrats of former premier Branko Cervenkovski.

Experts predict a coalition government, with the votes of the country’s ethnic Albanian minority proving decisive.