Macedonians Go to the Polls

Macedonians Go to the Polls

Originally uploaded by Thomas Roche

Voters in Macedonia are going to the polls today, in voting marred by violence that’s left at least one person dead in conflicts between police and an ethnic Albanian group. One member of the Albanian Democratic Union for Integration (DUI — no, I’m not making this up) was arrested in connection with the violence, but the DUI said plainclothes police started the shooting.

The Republic of Macedonia is 30-something percent of the historic region of Macedonia as it was defined in the 19th Century — the Yugoslav part, as opposed to the Greek part. When Macedonia gained its independence in the early 1990s, Greece objected to the use of the term “Macedonia,” which it considered to be a strictly Greek term. It exerted international pressure, and most nations did not recognize Macedonia under its constitutional name, but under the moniker “The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia,” or FYROM. According to, the US began referring to Macedonia by its chosen name in 2004. Negotiations with Greece are ongoing in an attempt to resolve the name issue.

The Republic of Macedonia is a candidate for EU membership and an applicant to NATO, both of which are at least slightly jeopardized by such election violence.

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