Macedonians Vote in Early Elections

Polls opened Sunday in Macedonia for a general election called two years early as part of a Western-brokered agreement to end a paralyzing political crisis.

The crisis began after the opposition accused the conservative government of an illegal wiretapping operation that targeted 20,000 people, including politicians, judges, journalists, police and religious leaders.

Former conservative Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski, who had headed the government since 2006, is seeking a fresh mandate. His VMRO-DPMNE party leads a 25-party coalition called "For a Better Macedonia."

His main opponent is Zoran Zaev, who heads a left-leaning coalition called "For Life in Macedonia."

While Gruevski has accused Zaev of plotting a coup and creating the political crisis, Zaev has accused Gruevski of massive theft, social injustice and corruption.

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