Month: <span>August 2020</span>

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Montenegro voters face choice between pro-EU ruling party and pro-Russian opposition
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Montenegro voters face choice between pro-EU ruling party and pro-Russian opposition

Issued on: 30/08/2020 – 17:55

Voters in Montenegro on Sunday cast ballots in a tense election that is pitting the long-ruling pro-Western party against an opposition seeking closer ties with Serbia and Russia.

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The parliamentary vote is marked by a dispute over a law on religious rights that is staunchly opposed by the influential Serbian Orthodox Church.

The issue has fueled divisions in the nation of 620,000 people that has defied its traditional Slavic allies to become independent in 2006 and join NATO in 2017.

Indicating high interest in the election, more than half of eligible voters had cast their ballots by midday. Lines formed outside some polling stations on a very hot summer day.

Months of church-led protests against the property bill have raised tensions and fears of potential incidents during and after the election on Sunday.

Authorities are also thinking back to the previous election, in October 2016, when they said they thwarted a planned..

North Macedonia’s parliament approves new left-wing coalition government
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North Macedonia’s parliament approves new left-wing coalition government

Issued on: 31/08/2020 – 04:08

North Macedonia's Social Democrats returned to power Sunday after parliament approved their new coalition, ending a months-long leadership void amid the pandemic.

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The vote brings Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, credited for putting the Balkan state on an EU path, back into top office after his party narrowly won a victory over right-wing rivals in July.

"A period of order, justice and discipline is coming, it is time for vetting of the judiciary and unselective rule of law," Zaev told the assembly.

His governing coalition, a tie-up with the largest party representing the ethnic Albanian minority, was approved by 62 votes in the 120-seat assembly following two days of heated debate that ended just before a midnight deadline.

The vote ends a period of eight months in which North Macedonia was run by a weak technical government, who were only supposed to be in power until April, when a snap election was initially scheduled.

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