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FYR Macedonia opposition alleges threats and corruption in elections

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FYR Macedonia opposition alleges threats and corruption in elections

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The main opposition leader in the former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia says his party won’t recognise the results of Sunday’s parliamentary and presidential elections.

Speaking after polls closed, Zoran Zaev accused the ruling conservatives of “abusing the entire state system”.

Opinion polls and most analysts expect Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski’s coalition to win a third term in the small Balkan country, one of Europe’s poorest.

But the opposition, which has accused Gruevski of authoritarianism and corruption, is now alleging voters were threatened, bribed or blackmailed.

Gruevski has ruled in coalition with ethnic Albanian partners for eight years, a period of economic growth but high unemployment.

Voters are also electing the largely ceremonial post of president.

Macedonia’s bid to join the EU remains hampered by opposition from Greece to its name – the same as that of a northern Greek province.