European Western Balkans

Plenary session for amending the Constitution of Macedonia begins today

Parliament of North Macedonia; Photo: Wikimedia Commons

SKOPJE – Plenary session of Macedonian Parliament for amending the Constitution in accordance with the Prespa Agreement begins today. The deadline for the vote is 15 January, Tanjug reports.

The Government of Zoran Zaev has proposed four constitutional amendments, with the most important one changing the country’s name to the Republic of North Macedonia. In order to be adopted, the amendments will require support from two thirds of MPs (80 of 120).

Other three amendments change the Preamble, guarantee sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country and protection of Macedonian cultural and historical identity, as well as rights of diaspora.

The parliamentary agenda also includes the adoption of the Constitutional Law if the process concludes successfully.

This session wraps up the three-part process which begun in October 2018, when 80 MPs, including some members of the opposition party VMRO-DPMNE, voted to initiate the process.

The citizens earlier voted in a consultative referendum on 30 September to accept or reject the change of the country’s name. While more than 90% of the voters supported the Prespa Agreement, the turnout was around 37%.

In exchange for the name change, Greece agreed to lift the blockade of Macedonia’s NATO and EU accession. However, the Greek Parliament is yet to ratify the Prespa Agreement and it is waiting for the outcome of the process in Macedonia.

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