Uncertainty on national election date in Macedonia

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Macedonia's Parliament is due to be formally dissolved at midnight Tuesday, paving the way for early elections in April under a western-brokered deal to end a protracted political crisis.

But opposition parties — backed by the European Union and the U.S. — want the move delayed, saying the necessary conditions to hold elections properly on April 24 are not yet in place.

A group of lawmakers has petitioned top Parliament official Trajko Veljanoski to postpone the dissolution of Parliament — thus allowing a later date for the national elections.

The ruling conservative VMRO-DPMNE party insists on observing the initially agreed timetable. It says western diplomats are biased in supporting the opposition demand.

It was not clear late Wednesday whether the lawmakers' petition would be accepted.