Macedonia has officially launched the start of the campaign period for elections on June 5, but just one party is participating — the one heading the governing coalition, former prime minister Nikola Gruevski's conservative VMRO-DPMNE.

The opposition Social Democrats had already announced a boycott, saying there were no conditions for a free and fair election. The two main parties of the country's minority ethnic Albanians also joined the boycott, refusing to submit candidate lists.

The European Union and United States have urged Macedonia to postpone the vote. The U.S. Embassy said the fact that just one party submitted candidate lists "underscores and amplifies concerns that conditions are not conducive to credible elections."

Macedonia has been in political turmoil since February last year following a wiretapping scandal.