Jan. 30, 2017: VMRO failed to meet its deadline on forming a coalition, and party leader Nikola Gruevski is returning the mandate to form a government to Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov. It is unclear if Zoran Zaev will get the next crack at trying to form a coalition.
Update: A revote took place in one electoral district, but it did not sway the parliamentary makeup. VMRO still has 51 seats, and the Social Democrats still have 49.
Update: Opposition leader Zoran Zaev announced Tuesday he will file a formal appeal of the election results. Zaev is claiming both VMRO and the Social Democrats should have 50 seats.
Update: The Macedonian State Electoral Commission announced Monday night that VMRO won 51 seats and the Social Democrats won 49. VMRO’s coalition partner, the ethnic Albanian DUI won 10 seats, which means Gruevski’s government could return to power, though it would have a mere 1-seat majority in the parliament.
Update: Both the ruling VMRO party and the opposition Social Democrats proclaimed victory. Opposition leader Zoran Zaev delivered a victory speech to supporters, though his party is trailing VMRO slightly in the vote count.
Update: Polls have closed and turnout was above 60 percent, a significant increase from the previous election.
Macedonians are voting Sunday in a twice-postponed early parliamentary election. The frontrunner in the prime minister’s race is an old premier who is under investigation for allegedly overseeing a mass wiretapping operation. The primary challenger is accused of collaborating with foreign spies. Josh Friedman reports from Skopje, Macedonia: