Macedonia parliament to be dissolved ahead of early election

Macedonia's parliament is to be dissolved ahead of an early election set for June 5 that is meant to end a protracted political crisis sparked by a wiretapping scandal.

The election is being held two years early under a Western-brokered deal reached last year. The crisis stemmed from opposition allegations that the governing conservatives illegally wire-tapped 20,000 people, including police, judges, journalists and foreign diplomats.

Lawmakers are expected to vote for the formal dissolution of Parliament at midnight Wednesday, starting the 60-day countdown to the election.

The election initially was set for April 24 but Macedonia's main political parties agreed in February to push it back after opposition parties, backed by the European Union and U.S., complained that April was too early.