After several failures to schedule early elections in Macedonia, the parties of government and the opposition finally set a date for December 2016. All political actors, in their own way, perceived the elections as an opportunity to overcome the severe political crisis that had begun at the beginning of 2015, when the government was accused of wiretapping over 20,000 citizens, among them journalists, opposition politicians, and state and government officials. Moreover, the government led by national-conservatives VMRO-DPMNE is accused of dismantling democratic institutions throughout the last decade. Leading international institutions, scholars and think-thanks have classified Macedonia within category of “partly-free” regimes, thus indicating a reversal in post-socialist democratisation process
In April 2014, Macedonia had both presidential and parliamentary elections. While the presidential elections were, indeed, scheduled for this time, the parliamentary elections were called early. The incumbent president, Gjorge Ivanov who is affiliated with the Internal Macedonian revolutionary organization – Democratic party for Macedonian national unity” (VMRO-DPMNE), became candidate on 1. March 2014; proclaiming that his campaign will be based on three principles: honesty, sincerity and values.