As party leaders meet, VMRO says it will oppose holding elections before it is safe to vote

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The opposition VMRO-DPMNE party announced that it will come to the meeting of party leaders that began today with a clear position that conditions are not met to hold elections, especially as the number of deaths from the coronavirus keeps growing.

The meeting, in which the ruling SDSM party is pushing for elections in June or early July, comes after one of the worst weeks of the epidemic, with 170 newly infected and 10 deaths, during which the total number of Covid-19 deaths rose over 100. VMRO-DPMNE notes that the recommendations that were given by the Committee on infectious diseases about holding elections were broad, do not recommend when should the elections take place and are mostly contained of general advice that is being followed anyway.

There is also no specific response from OSCE as to whether they can prepare an election monitoring mission. The head of the mission should be in the country at least 35 days before the elections begin, VMRO-DPMNE says, which means that the dates SDSM party leader Zoran Zaev is pushing for in June are already unacceptable.

Having a serious monitoring mission and a green light from medical experts that the elections can take place, are the two main conditions put forward by the opposition party before an election date can be set.