North Macedonia’s parliament was dissolved on Sunday, ahead of an early election.
The April 12 election is taking place eight months before the normal expiration of the parliament’s four-year term.
All major political parties agreed to the early election proposed by then Prime Minister Zoran Zaev after France, supported by Denmark and the Netherlands, vetoed the opening of accession talks between the European Union and North Macedonia.
A caretaker government of technicians was installed in early January to ensure a free and fair vote.
Zaev had voiced “disappointment and outrage” over the EU decision, but France insisted its aim was to overhaul the accession process and not dispute North Macedonia’s suitability. Earlier this month, the European Commission proposed an overhaul in the process of adding new members, in a bid to remove France’s objections to opening talks with Albania and North Macedonia.
The commission is hoping a breakthrough on accession talks can be achieved in March. The bloc also has a major summit in the Western Balkans planned for May.