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Macedonia opposition accuses government of election fraud, releases pre-vote audio recordings

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SKOPJE, Macedonia — Macedonia's opposition leader has released audio recordings allegedly showing conservative government officials discussing ways to manipulate voting registration records and pressure voters to back them in last year's general elections.

Social Democrat leader Zoran Zaev said the material released Friday demonstrated that the government had attempted to pressure state workers and others dependent on government wages to vote for the ruling VMRO-DPMNE party.

Zaev's party has boycotted parliament since last April's elections, claiming the government had won the vote unfairly and that it had launched a massive, illegal wiretapping operation against it political opponents.

The ruling party rejected the latest allegations, claiming the recordings had been fabricated with the help of a foreign government, but did not elaborate.

Zaev's party did not say where or how it obtained the recordings.

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