Macedonian lawmakers have passed a law making Albanian the country's second official language in a vote boycotted by main opposition party.
The law passed Thursday with the backing of 69 lawmakers in the 120-member parliament. It still requires approval by the country's president before coming into effect.
Albanians make up about a quarter of Macedonia's 2.1 million people, and the new law allows them to use Albanian in communications with all official institutions throughout the country. A previous law, which arose from a 2001 peace deal ending an armed conflict between Albanian fighters and government forces, granted that right only in areas where the minority was larger than 20 percent of the population.