Macedonia’s main opposition party on Tuesday published what it says is new evidence of government vote-manipulation in three recent elections, following up on accusations of a massive wire-tapping scandal. At a party rally, Zoran Zaev’s Social Democrats released what they said were recorded conversations between conservative government officials and Macedonia’s intelligence chief. Addressing more than 2,000 party supporters, Zaev repeated calls for conservative Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski to immediately hand over power to an interim government that would ensure “free and fair elections.”
The party claimed the officials discussed vote-buying and intimidation ahead of 2011 and 2014 parliamentary elections, and 2013 local elections.
The alleged plans included incapacitating elevators at polling centers in opposition-dominated constituencies, and pressuring teenagers of voting age in orphanages to vote for the conservatives.
Zaev has claimed that Gruevski was behind the alleged illegal wiretapping of more than 20,000 people, including politicians, judges, journalists, police, religious leaders and foreign ambassadors.