Setback in efforts to form Macedonian coalition government

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Macedonia's political crisis has deepened, with the dominant conservatives rejecting a key potential coalition partner's conditions to help form a government after last month's elections.

The VMRO-DPMNE party said Friday that it won't negotiate the demands by its former coalition partner, the ethnic Albanian minority's DUI party.

Former prime minister Nikola Gruevski's conservatives won the Dec. 11 national elections, but are 10 seats short of a parliamentary majority.

DUI controls 10 seats, but has set two conditions to govern with Gruevski: That Albanian be designated an official language — along with Macedonian — all over the country, rather than in minority areas, and that Gruevski allows a special prosecution service to continue the investigation of a wiretapping scandal that plunged the country into a deep political crisis two years ago.