Government of Macedonia adopts drafts of four constitutional amendments

Zoran Zaev; Photo: Government of Macedonia

SKOPJE – Government of Macedonia adopted drafts of four constitutional amendments today, following the vote in the Parliament to trigger the process of amending the Constitution on 19 October. The amendments will be delivered to the Parliament by the end of the day.

The first amendment, building on the Prespa Agreement, changes the name of the country to Republic of North Macedonia throughout the Constitution, except for the Article 36, which covers the status of all victims and veterans of the struggle for Macedonian statehood, primarily in the Second World War.

The second amendment, referring to the Preamble of the Constitution, adds the 2001 Ohrid Framework Agreement as a constitutive element of the state.

“The Ohrid Framework Agreement has been fully incorporated into the Constitution so far, and the argument that was given during the debate with MPs and the Government was that, while the Constitution is open, it is time to include the title of the Framework Agreement as a constituent element because it is part of our Constitution,” said Prime Minister Zoran Zaev.

The third amendment extends the Article 3 of the Constitution, which regulates territorial integrity of Macedonia, with the following section: “The republic respects sovereignty territorial integrity and political independence of the neighbouring countries”.

Finally, the fourth amendment replaces the article 49 with the four new sections:

“The Republic protects, guarantees and fosters the historical and cultural heritage of Macedonian people.

The Republic protects the rights and interests of its citizens living and residing abroad and promotes their relationship with their homeland.

The Republic takes care for the Macedonian people living abroad.

At the same time, the Republic is not allowed to interfere in the sovereign rights of other countries and their internal affairs.”

The amendments will have to be adopted by a two-third majority in the Parliament.