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SKOPJE (Macedonia), May 17 (SeeNews) - Nearly two-thirds of Macedonians, or 63%, believe that elections which do not feature all parties should not be conducted at all, while 31% consider this as an acceptable option, a public opinion survey showed.
Macedonia's ruling VMRO DPMNE is the only party that has registered candidates for the June 5 snap vote with the elections committee, whereas the main opposition party, the socialist SDSM, and the two ethnic Albanian parties - the Democratic Union of Integration (DUI) and the Democratic Party of Albanians (DPA) - are boycotting the elections.
Of the 1,016 persons interviewed, 55% said they support the idea for an interim government to lead the country out of the political stalemate, with 39% of all polled considering this government should be made up of non-partisan experts against 16% who believe it should be formed by the country's four main political parties, a survey conducted by Institute for Democracy Societas Civilis in Skopje (IDSCS) indicated.
Another 36% think a government, formed after June 5 elections, would be the best option for the country.
The snap vote was part of a EU-brokered deal, known as the Przino agreement, aimed to solve a prolonged political crisis in the country, which started January 2015 when SDSM leader Zoran Zaev accused the coalition government of the conservative VMRO-DPMNE and DUI of corruption, wiretapping illegally more than 20,000 people and covering-up a murder. For its part, the government charged Zaev with trying to destabilise the country.
In mid-April, Macedonia's president Gjorge Ivanov surprisingly halted investigations against 56 officials suspected of being involved in the wire-tapping scandal, triggering mass street protests.
The institute's survey showed a clear prevalence of the opinion that the president's pardon was not justified - this view is held by 76% of the Macedonians against only 16% who support it.
Nearly half of the respondents, 46%, back the protests, as 62% of them identify the protests with the anti-government Colourful Revolution, whereas 25% support the GDOM movement (Civil Society for Defence of Macedonia), which organised protests against Zoran Zaev's and Zoran Verushevski's pardons in particular.
The poll also revealed general lack of confidence in country's three major leaders - VMRO's Gruevski, SDSM's Zaev and DUI's Ali Ahmeti - each of whom draws the disapproval of around a half of the people interviewed. Still, Gruevski enjoys highest support - 33%, closely followed by Zaev with 30%, whereas Ahmeti is backed by only 14%. Notably, 72% of the polled ethnic Albanians disapprove of the Albanian leader.
Macedonian citizens are also split over a possible EU and US intervention in finding a solution to the political crisis, as 42%, mostly Albanians are supportive of it versus 45% who are against.
The survey was conducted via phone during May 6-11.
Currently, IDSCS implements two projects within the domain of EU integration funded by the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR).