Europe's top human rights watchdog to monitor Macedonia poll

BRUSSELS - The Council of Europe is sending a 13-member delegation to Macedonia to observe the country's upcoming presidential election on Sunday.

The team from Council’s Parliamentary Assembly will travel to Macedonia on Thursday alongside observers from the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe.

A statement from the Council of Europe said Tuesday the delegation would meet the presidential candidates, elections authorities and political party leaders.

They would also speak to representatives of international organizations, civil society and the media, before observing the ballot on 13 April.

The election will see 1.7 million Macedonian citizens at home and abroad go to polls.

Four candidates will compete in the first round: Gjorge Ivanov of the coalition “For a Better Macedonia”; Stevo Pendarovski of Social Democratic Union of Macedonia; Zoran Popovski of the coalition Citizens’ Option for Macedonia; and Ilaz Halimi of the Albanian Democratic Party in Macedonia.

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