Comment 29 Sep 17

Local Election Catches Macedonia’s Parties Unprepared

Exhausted by the country’s years-long political crisis, the two main parties have started the local election campaign short of promises and looking weary already.

Vlado Apostolov
Election billboards in Skopje. Photo: BIRN

Judging by the first days of the campaign for the October 15 local elections in Macedonia, the country is entering another election race in which candidates will fire national issues at each other, spiced up with nationalism and crime allegations, overshadowing any real debate on more concrete local problems.

And, as in many elections before, Macedonians will apparently have to do without direct TV debates among the candidates.

The atmosphere of the local elections, carrying the aftertaste of last year's parliamentary election, held in December, has been prepared all summer.

The former ruling VMRO DPMNE party has persistently pushed the idea of holding referendums on the same day as the elections on an alleged government plan to settle migrants in the country.

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