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EU official urges Macedonia to quickly form new government

February 9, 2017

SKOPJE, Macedonia (AP) — The European Union’s enlargement commissioner is visiting Macedonia to encourage the formation of a new government, with coalition negotiations dragging following December’s inconclusive early election.

Johannes Hahn said Thursday there was “no time to waste” in Macedonia, which has long hoped to join the EU.

Conservative leader Nikola Gruevski failed to reach a deal last month with his ethnic Albanian coalition partner and has called for another election.

Gruevski’s party won 51 seats in the 120-member parliament in December’s election, and had hoped to add the ethnic Albanian DUI party’s 10 seats to secure a majority.

The coalition deal failed after the conservatives rejected a DUI demand for Albanian to be recognized as a second official language. About a quarter of the country’s population belongs to the ethnic Albanian minority.

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