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AAA Mar. 14, 2018 1:15 PM ET
Macedonia closer to making Albanian 2nd official language
SKOPJE, Macedonia (AP) — Macedonia has taken a conclusive step to declaring Albanian the country's second official language, with lawmakers approving the measure after a stormy session.
A total of 64 of parliament's 120 lawmakers backed the motion.
Parliament had approved it before, but the bill required a second vote after President Gjorge Ivanov refused to ratify it in January, citing constitutional grounds.
Under Macedonia's constitution, Ivanov must now approve the law.
Wednesday's vote was disrupted by an opposition conservative lawmaker who tried to prevent parliament speaker Talat Xhaferi from speaking, by shutting down his microphone.
The conservatives had tried to delay the vote by tabling 35,000 amendments — which Xhaferi, an ethnic Albanian, ignored.
Ethnic Albanians make up a quarter of Macedonia's 2.1 million people. Relations with the majority Macedonians have been tense.Associated Press