- Title: North Macedonia heads to election with pace of EU accession at stake
- Date: 15th July 2020
- Summary: SKOPJE, NORTH MACEDONIA (JULY 15, 2020) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF VOTERS QUEUING UP TO CAST VOTES, WEARING FACE MASKS, KEEPING DISTANCE VARIOUS OF VOTERS IN POLLING STATION, STICKERS OF NORTH MACEDONIA FLAG ON DOORS PEOPLE QUEUING INSIDE POLLING STATION, MAN ENTERING ROOM INSIDE POLLING STATION / WARNING STICKER ON DOOR THRESHOLD READING (Macedonian): "KEEP DISTANCE" STICKER ON DOOR THRESHOLD READING (Macedonian): "KEEP DISTANCE" VARIOUS OF MAN REGISTERING FOR VOTE POLLING STATION STAFFER PUTTING ON GLOVES MAN TAKING BALLOT MAN CASTING VOTE VARIOUS OF WOMAN REGISTERING FOR VOTE WOMAN CASTING VOTE MAN IN VOTING BOOTH MAN CASTING VOTE DISINFECTANTS AND RUBBER GLOVES AT REGISTRATION TABLE VOTE BEING PUT IN BALLOT BOX WOMAN CASTING VOTE (SOUNDBITE) (Macedonian) VOTER, ROZMARI MARKULOVA, SAYING: "I don't know what to expect. This pandemic has caused a lot of trouble, I hope it will be solved." (SOUNDBITE) (Macedonian) VOTER, ILIJA, SAYING: "There are many things they (the politicians) should do. But we will see what they will do. They all promise they will do (something), but let us see if they will." (SOUNDBITE) (Macedonian) VOTER, VERICA NIKOLOVA, SAYING: "The things as they are now - do not work. Something has to change in the country - economy, young people to stay, many things, health system and everything. So, something has to change, and primarily the economy and the young people to stay here." (SOUNDBITE) (Macedonian) VOTER, VLADA CVETKOVIC, SAYING: "I don't expect anything. You see this global crisis, what can we expect? They promised they will increase the pensions, but I doubt. They all keep promising, but it is a big question if they will fulfil the promises." VOTERS READING VOTING INSTRUCTIONS DISPLAYED ON DOORS TO POLLING STATION VOTERS QUEUING OUTSIDE POLLING STATION
- Embargoed: 29th July 2020 08:21
- Keywords: COVID-19 North Macedonia election ballot box casting vote polling station voting
- Location: SKOPJE, NORTH MACEDONIA
- City: SKOPJE, NORTH MACEDONIA
- Country: Macedonia
- Topics: Government/Politics,Elections/Voting
- Reuters ID: LVA001CMX6IIV
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Voting began in a parliamentary election in North Macedonia on Wednesday (July 15) that may decide the pace of its bid for European Union membership, with the governing pro-EU Social Democrats locked in a close race with the main opposition nationalists.
The vote was originally scheduled for April but postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak. Voters arrived at the polling stations wearing mandatory masks. The country of 2 million people has reported 8,332 infections 389 deaths due to COVID-19.
Prime Minister Zoran Zaev put the country on the path towards EU membership by agreeing to add "North" to its name, resolving a decades-old stand-off with Greece, which viewed the name Macedonia as a claim on its province of the same name.
The opposition VMRO-DPMNE of Hristijan Mickoski opposed the name change, and also accuses Zaev's Social Democratic Union of Macedonia (SDSM) of corruption and cronyism, which they deny.
One recent election poll suggested a narrow victory for the SDSM, while another indicated a narrow win for the VMRO-DPMNE. But both polled less than 25%, meaning they would need partners for a majority.
(Production: Fedja Grulovic, Malgorzata Wojtunik)
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