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December 13, 2016

SKOPJE, Macedonia (AP) — Macedonia’s opposition leader is challenging the official results of the country’s weekend parliamentary elections, and says he will file a formal appeal with electoral authorities.

Zoran Zaev’s leftist Social Democrats narrowly lost Sunday’s vote to the governing conservatives. He says each of the main parties should get 50 seats in parliament. Results issued Monday gave the conservative VMRO-DPMNE party 51 of parliament’s 120 seats and the Social Democrats 49. While short of a majority, the conservatives should be able to form a governing coalition with their previous junior partner, an ethnic Albanian party.

The early election was designed to end a festering political crisis. Zaev said Monday official results differed significantly from figures provided by his party’s observers at polling stations in a northwestern region mostly populated by ethnic Albanians.

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