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Voting begins in North Macedonia’s early parliamentary polls

People who have tested positive for COVID-19 or are in self-isolation vote on Monday as part of the 2020 early parliamentary elections in North Macedonia, due on July 15.

Skopje, 13 July 2020 (MIA) – People who have tested positive for COVID-19 or are in self-isolation vote on Monday as part of the 2020 early parliamentary elections in North Macedonia, due on July 15.

The elections, which will be held in in extraordinary circumstances due to COVID-19 pandemic, will be conducted under strict health protocols ensuring the protection of the people’s health.

COVID-19 patients and people in self-isolation will vote in 57 out of 80 municipalities in North Macedonia. The special electoral boards, consisted of three health workers and political party representatives, are in charge of administering the vote.

The sick, the frail and people with chronic illnesses, prison inmates, people in nursery homes and in house arrest will vote on July 14 (Tuesday).

According to the State Election Commission (SEC), of 9,499 sick people, frail and chronically ill people who have registered, the requests of 8,852 people have been accepted by the local electoral commissions to vote on Tuesday.

A total of 1,814,263 people are eligible to vote.

3,480 polling stations will be opened in six electoral districts in the country on July 15.

1,578 candidates of 15 parties and coalitions are vying in the elections.

The following parties and coalitions submitted MP candidates for all six electoral districts: DUI, SDSM-Besa coalition, VMRO-DPMNE-led coalition, Integra, Never North only Macedonia coalition, Demokrati, Alliance for Albanians, Alternative, Levica, Workers Party, and DPA, while SDU, GDU and Voice for Macedonia will only take part in the election in the first five districts and Tvoja has only submitted MP candidates for the first, second and fifth district.

On Election Day (Wednesday), polls will be open for 14 hours, instead of 12 hours like in previous elections. They will open at 7 am and close at 9 pm.

The SEC and all election stakeholders pledged to abide by health safety protocols due to coronavirus pandemic as well as elections to be fair and free in line with democratic standards.

Elections in North Macedonia were originally scheduled for April 12 but were put on hold due to the ongoing health crisis. Political parties managed to reach an agreement regarding the date of the parliamentary elections and were re-scheduled for July 15.

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