The Balkans


    • North Macedonia presidential vote heads to runoff

      North Macedonia presidential vote heads to runoff

      Macedonia’s pro-Western candidate, Stevo Pendarovski, and his main rival Gordana Siljanovska-Davkova emerged tied in the first round of presidential vote dominated by deep divisions over a change of the country’s name to North Macedonia under a deal with Greece. Results on the State Election Commission website based on 98% of the votes counted showed Pendarovski got 42.7% of the votes, while Siljanovska-Davkova had 42.5% of the votes.

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    • Country name dispute haunts Macedonian presidential election

      Country name dispute haunts Macedonian presidential election

      Macedonians vote in a presidential election on Sunday shaping up as an unofficial referendum on the hotly disputed change of the country’s name to North Macedonia under a deal with Greece. The country held an actual referendum on the issue last year but it was invalidated due to insufficient turnout. Skopje’s parliament later ratified the accord, which opened the door to Macedonian membership of the EU and NATO.

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    • Kosovo returns families of jihadists from Syria

      Kosovo returns families of jihadists from Syria

      Dozens of women and children, relatives of Kosovo jihadists fighting in Syria, were flown back home by plane on Saturday under heavy security. “The planned operation for the return of some of our citizens from Syria has ended successfully,” Justice Minister Abelrad Tahiri said at the airport early on Saturday.Details would be released later in the day, he said.

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    • Anti-government protests held in Albania

      Anti-government protests held in Albania

      Albanian opposition parties have rallied in the Tirana, the capital, calling for the government's resignation, an early parliamentary election as well as for electoral reforms over claims of corruption. Some protesters tried to storm the parliament building, but police responded with tear gas and water cannon.

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    • Protest radicalisation in Serbia

      Protest radicalisation in Serbia

      Anti-government protests in Serbia over the past three months reached a boiling point on 16 and 17 March as demonstrators briefly occupied the state broadcaster and rallied outside the president's building. The protesters are calling for the resignation of President Aleksandar Vucic, whom they accuse of authoritarian tactics, including controlling public media.

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    • Serbia opposition supporters storm state-run TV

      Serbia opposition supporters storm state-run TV

      Opponents of Serb President Aleksandar Vucic broke into the state-run RTS television building on Saturday, demanding to address the population, in images aired live. Among the dozens who invaded RTS on Saturday were opposition figures including former Belgrade mayor Dragan Djilas and Bosko Obradovic, leader of the right-wing Dveri party.

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    • Albania's opposition protests demanding snap elections

      Albania's opposition protests demanding snap elections

      Albania's main opposition leader last Tuesday urged Prime Minister Edi Rama to call a snap election over allegations of corruption and vote fraud, as anti-government protesters rallied outside parliament, news wires reported. Thousands of protesters supporting Albania's opposition have surrounded the parliament, burned portraits of Rama and threw firecrackers at the building.

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    • Macedonia stops migrants trying Balkan route

      Macedonia stops migrants trying Balkan route

      Police in North Macedonia stopped during the weekend the separate incidents two vehicles carrying 22 migrants who allegedly planned to enter Serbia illegally and travel on to the EU. Police said on Sunday that nine Pakistanis were found in a car in the country's south late Saturday, near the borders with Greece and Bulgaria. The driver was arrested and placed in custody.

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