Macedonia to amend constitution to reduce minimum turnout in presidential elections
Macedonia's parliament has approved a constitutional amendment to change the presidential election voting rules, in a bid to boost the country's image of democratic stability, the Associated Press reported.
Parliament voted late Wednesday to lower the minimum voter turnout in presidential election runoffs from 50 percent to 40 percent.
Turnout in the last election in 2004 was 56 percent, but only after authorities publicly appealed to citizens to vote. Authorities have been concerned that they could face a void ballot in the next presidential election, scheduled for March 2009.
Past elections have frequently been marred by violence and irregularities, hurting Macedonia's efforts to join NATO and the European Union.