US embassy in Macedonia denies any election interference
SKOPJE, Macedonia (AP) — The U.S. Embassy in Skopje is rejecting allegations in pro-government Macedonian media that the ambassador has met, or intervened with, electoral officials following the country’s parliamentary election.
In a statement Wednesday, the embassy expressed “concern” at reports that Ambassador Jess Baily was interfering with the work of the electoral commission. It said “this is not a time for fake news or conspiracies.”
Sunday’s election gave former Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski’s conservative VMRO-DPMNE party a narrow victory over the opposition Social Democrats, who are challenging the official results in an appeal to the electoral commission.
The vote, held two years early, was part of an internationally-brokered attempt to end a festering political crisis prompted by opposition claims that Gruevski’s government orchestrated a massive wiretapping scandal.