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
Elections in Serbia have been held quite often over the past 26 years. Yet, of all elections that have taken place since the introduction of the multiparty system in 1990, the elections held on April 24 2016, were the most confusing. They were held early, but were neither a product of political, nor economic crisis. So why were they necessary?
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.
The parliamentary elections in Albania took place on June, 23, 2013. They marked the end of a turbulent mandate, 2009-2013, by an odd ruling coalition between the biggest right wing political force, the Democratic Party (DP) led by Sali Berisha, and the second largest left wing party the Socialist Movement for Integration (SMI) led by Ilir Meta. The coalition was odd because the two leaders before 2009 had been bitter political enemies who for years had accused each-other of corruption, authoritarianism, and connections with organized crime. In fact the Socialist Movement for Integration (SMI), a 2003 splinter group from the Socialist, had run on an anti-Berisha campaign during the 2009 elections.