Macedonian Parliament dissolved ahead of Dec. 11 elections

Macedonia's Parliament has been formally dissolved ahead of forthcoming early national elections.

The Dec. 11 vote will be held two years ahead of schedule, under a Western-brokered deal to end a protracted political crisis sparked by a wiretapping scandal.

The governing conservatives and the left-wing opposition have traded blame after revelations that the conversations of some 20,000 people were monitored. They included police, judges, journalists and foreign diplomats.

The elections were initially to have been held earlier this year, but the scheduled date was postponed twice after opposition parties charged that safeguards for a fair and free ballot were inadequate.

Macedonia's Parliament was dissolved Monday in preparation for the elections.