Participation in the voting was significantly less than the required 50 %. However, the issue of rapprochement with the West and renaming of the country can still be resolved in the Macedonian parliament. Macedonia has failed the referendum on joining the EU and NATO and renaming the country. This was reported by the dpa agency on Sunday, September 30. According to the dpa, only 34 % of the 1.8 million voters came to polling stations. These were the data by the CEC for half an hour before stations were closed.
To recognize the referendum, more than 50 % of voters should have taken part in it. Residents of Macedonia had to answer one question: “Do you support joining the EU and NATO, agreeing with the treaty between Macedonia and Greece?”. It refers to the Prespa Agreement on renaming of the country into the Republic of Northern Macedonia.
Prime Minister of the country called the referendum successful
If successful, Greece would stop blocking the rapprochement of this Balkan country with the EU and NATO. Greece’s claims are related to the fact that a large region in the north of the country is also called the same. Opponents of the referendum in Macedonia stated that renaming the country means abandoning the national identity.
Despite the fact that the majority of voters did not come to the polls, the Prime Minister of Macedonia Zoran Zaev called the referendum successful, since, in his words, “a large majority” of the voted are in favor of joining the EU and NATO.
The Parliament will decide on the fate of Macedonia
Now, discussions about renaming the country will be continued in the country’s parliament, the referendum is only advisory. The decision to rename Macedonia requires the votes of two thirds of the deputies. So far, supporters of rapprochement with the EU have failed to find these votes in parliament.
However, Zaev said that if this decision is not taken, early parliamentary elections will be held in the country. Earlier, a number of Western politicians came out in support of the referendum in Macedonia. Some of them accused Russia of trying to influence the results of the referendum.
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