Ethnic minorities in Macedonia demand equal representation

Report
from Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty
Published on 17 May 2002
Political parties representing eight ethnic minorities held talks on 16 May about seeking equal representation in the parliament slated to be elected on 15 September, "Utrinski vesnik" reported. They demand that 18 out of a total of 120 seats be assigned to the smaller ethnic minorities. They say that representatives of the Serbs, Turks, Roma, Vlachs, Muslims, and Egyptians should be elected according to a proportional system, without any minimum vote requirement. According to the plan, the remaining 102 seats would be distributed on a proportional basis among the ethnic Macedonian and Albanian political parties receiving more than 2 percent of the vote. The minority leaders, who are said to represent some 350,000 (out of approximately 2 million) Macedonian citizens, warned that they will boycott the vote if their demands are not met. UB
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