The Press Association, June 15, 2008
Macedonia vote marred by violence
Voting has started in dozens of Macedonian polling stations where reruns are being held after violence and irregularities marred the parliamentary election.
The repeat vote will not affect the overall result, which gave Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski's centre-right coalition a landslide 48.2% victory.
But it will determine which of the two main - and bitterly opposed - ethnic Albanian parties will be invited to join the governing coalition.
More than 160,000 people are registered to vote at 187 polling stations, mostly in ethnic Albanian areas, out of the country's total of 2,976.
Gunfights left one person dead and eight wounded on election day two weeks ago.
The June 1 violence brought international condemnation at a time when Macedonia is trying to prove its credentials for EU and Nato membership.
Gruevski has said he would rather break with tradition and stay without an ethnic Albanian partner in his new coalition cabinet than have a partner who has won the elections with irregularities.
The two biggest ethnic Albanian parties are the Democratic Union for Integration, run by former rebel leader Ali Ahmeti, and the Democratic Party of Albanians, run by Menduh Thaci. Both have accused each other of the violence, shootings and irregularities.
More than 400 observers, 100 of them international, are to monitor the repeat vote.
Ethnic Albanians make up about a quarter of the tiny Balkan country's 2.1 million population.