The parliament of Northern Macedonia dissolved itself on Sunday. A date was also set for early elections. The North Macedonians will go to the polls on 12 April, eight months before the end of the current parliamentary term.

108 of the 120 parliamentarians supported agreed to the dissolution. The parliament is being replaced by an interim government.

The early elections are seen as a test for the Social Democratic party of Zoran Zaev, who resigned last month as prime minister of Northern Macedonia. It will become clear whether Zaev's policy receives support.

Zaev had stated as an election promise that he would ensure that the country could join the European Union (EU). He did not succeed. In October, French President Emmanuel Macron refused talks between the EU and Northern Macedonia. France wants the EU to first change the accession process.

Northern Macedonia had hoped that by resolving a dispute with Greece, it could start discussions with the EU. The country agreed to a name change last year. The Greeks wanted for decades that the neighboring country, formerly Macedonia, be given a different name, because a Greek province is also called Macedonia. Northern Macedonia will join NATO this year.

In addition to Northern Macedonia, Albania, Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Kosovo also have plans to join the EU.