Party leaders will hold another meeting to look for a way out of the political crisis

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Party leaders are set to meet today to discuss a way out of the political crisis. Macedonia has no Parliament, which was dissolved to make way for the now-canceled election on April 12, and the Government rules by executive decrees under a state of emergency.

President Stevo Pendarovski, who postponed the state of emergency until the end of the month, even after earlier acknowledging that the move is unconstitutional, will convene the leaders of the main parties in Parliament. Last week, during a similar meeting, the leader of the ruling SDSM party Zoran Zaev pushed for an election date in June or July, even before the epidemic has been fully overcome. The opposition VMRO-DPMNE party instead demands that healthcare professionals give recommendations on when to hold the elections and that a condition is also having an international monitoring mission to prevent electoral theft. Most other party leaders agreed to have the expert proposals and wait for a response from OSCE if they can put together a mission.

Zaev insists that a second wave of the virus will hit in autumn, and therefore, elections must take place in the summer, where the warm weather would ostensibly reduce the spread. His critics insist that Zaev wants low turnout elections, hopes for a crisis popularity boost, and fears that elections later, although safer, would also be conducted with a much worse economy. Zaev is also under strong pressure from Bulgaria to deliver on a number of humiliating concessions linked to the Macedonian history and national identity, and holding elections after he delivers would also erode the chances of his SDSM party.