The early parliamentary elections in the Republic of Macedonia has been triggered by the political crisis. The leader of the largest opposition party, Social Democratic Union of Macedonia (SDSM) Zoran Zaev in February 2015 started publishing wiretapped conversations1 from the last few years which apparently indicated the involvement of governmental officials and public servants in election fraud, corruption, abuse of power, and pressure on the media2.
In several wiretapped conversations, it can be heard the inappropriate language used by the ministries’ officials regarding Roma. In addition, from the wiretapped conversation it can be heard how Roma are used for electoral fraud. Through official statements, the political Party for Emancipation of Roma (PCER) and several non-governmental organization publicly condemned the Government officials3.
The process before the election itself was preceded by a dynamic period full of various events in political upheaval. However,the first step toward resolving the political crisis was taken on 2nd of June 2015, when the European Union, European Commission, and the US Embassy in Macedonia through mediation process initiated the four major political parties, VMRO DPMNE, SDSM, DUI, and DPA to sign the Przino Agreement4. The second step was taken on 15th of July 2015, when the mediators came up with the Protocol5 on Przino Agreement regarding the return of SDSM in the parliament and the preparations for the early election that were foreseen to happen on 24th of April 2016. However, the political crisis continued, and the parliamentary elections were postponed twice, once on 24th of April 2016 and later to 5th of June 2016 and the election happened on 11 of December 2016.