Macedonian political leaders fail to agree on election date

Macedonian political leaders fail to agree on election dateMacedonian Social-democrats leader Zoran Zaev, center, talks to the media after the meeting that EU enlargement commissioner Johannes Hahn had with main four Macedonian political leaders on the implementation of last year’s Western-brokered deal to solve a deep political crisis, in front of EU ambassador?s residence in Skopje, Macedonia, early Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016. (AP Photo/Boris Grdanoski)

SKOPJE, Macedonia (AP) — Talks among Macedonia’s four major parties on a national election date have hit a snag, with the main opposition party rejecting the proposed date of April 24.

Social Democrat leader Zoran Zaev told reporters Saturday that negotiations have failed, saying his party cannot accept an April 24 vote without a revision of the electoral roll and media reform.

The two ethnic Albanian parties have agreed to that date.

Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski is calling Zaev’s refusal irresponsible, but European Union enlargement commissioner Johannes Hahn, who is mediating the talks, says the deal is not yet dead.

Macedonian parties agreed to hold a vote two years early following a wiretapping scandal. Gruevski has promised to step down and have an interim premier sworn in 100 days before the chosen election date.

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