Macedonia polls to be held on June 5 despite calls for delay

Macedonia polls will be held on June 5 despite calls for delay.

Athens: Macedonia will hold early parliamentary elections on June 5, the country`s speaker confirmed on Friday, despite days of protests and opposition calls for a delay.

"Based on my constitutional and legal authority... I today signed the decision to call early elections... on June 5, 2016," Trajko Veljanoski said in a statement.

The election date was set officially after several days of street protests triggered by President Gjorge Ivanov`s decision to halt probes into more than 50 public figures, including top politicians, embroiled in a last year`s wire-tapping scandal.

Thousands of people, mainly supporters of the main opposition party SDSM, took to the streets on Thursday in a mostly peaceful protest, demanding Ivanov either revoke his decision or resign, as well calling for the election to be postponed.

New protests were announced for Friday afternoon.

The early elections, originally agreed for for April 24 and then postponed in February to June 5, are part of a EU-brokered agreement to solve a seething political crisis in Macedonia.

SDSM leader Zoran Zaev has already said his party will boycott the election, claiming that conditions for a free and fair vote had not been met.