Macedonian PM launches formal resignation process

Macedonia's prime minister has submitted his resignation to the speaker of Parliament, launching the procedure that should see him replaced by a caretaker until early elections April 24.

Nikola Gruevski made the move Friday as agreed in a Western-brokered deal to end a political crisis triggered by a wiretapping scandal.

Under Macedonian law, lawmakers will be summoned within the next seven days to accept or reject the resignation.

Also Friday, EU enlargement commissioner Johannes Hahn arrived in Macedonia for talks with Gruevski and opposition leaders on implementing last July's agreement.

In a televised address to the nation late Thursday, Gruevski insisted that the elections must be held on schedule April 24, despite opposition pressure for a delay.