The name North Macedonia formalised by vote in Parliament

The name North Macedonia formalised by vote in Parliament
 Macedonian Parliament during voting process

 Macedonia's parliament approved on Friday the constitutional changes that allow its name change in Northern Macedonia, according to the agreement with Greece.

81 MPs in the 120-member parliament voted for constitutional changes, adopting first the four amendments that has to do with the name change, with the preamble, statehood, state care for the diaspora, and then the constitutional law or the package of constitutional changes. MPs of the opposition VMRO-DPMNE party, opposing the agreement, boycotted the vote.

The parliamentary majority reached two-thirds of the votes needed after an agreement in the afternoon between Prime Minister Zoran Zaev and the opposition wing leaders of the Besa Movement, whose two lawmakers had a key role in meeting the majority needed for these changes.

Prime Minister Zaev and the Albanian party agreed that in the new constitution, the two terms, "Macedonian and citizen of the Republic of North Macedonia" will be used in determining the term of citizenship. For Albanians there will be an explanation of their ethnic affiliation. Personal identity cards will also include the declaration of citizens according to their ethnicity.

In the new preamble to the Constitution, among others things:

"The citizens of the Republic of Macedonia, the Macedonian people, the part of the Albanian people, the Turkish people, the Vlach people, the Serb people ... taking on responsibility for the present and future of their homeland ..."; From here is removed the reference "as well as members of communities who live within its borders and who are part of the people ..."

 During the defense of parliamentary amendments Zaev expressed gratitude to those opposition MPs who through their vote helped the process. Meanwhile, lawmaker Elizabeta Kanceska Milevska dismissed the accusations and offenses for the VMRO-DPMNE group as "the eight deputies were traitors," as he asked VMRO chairman Hristijan Mickovski about his alternatives, suggesting that her party in the past favored an identical proposal for changing the name.

In front of parliament, dozens of VMRO-backed protesters had blocked the boulevard as they issued offensive calls against MPs who voted the constitutional changes.

Changing the name of the former Yugoslav republic through constitutional amendments followed the 17 June agreement in Prespa between the governments of Skopje and Athens and will pave the way for Macedonia's faster integration into NATO and the European Union.

But these changes will only come into effect after the Greek parliament has ratified the Prespa agreement.

Meanwhile in Greece continues the uncertainty over the issue that may cause early elections in the country. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and his right-wing ally postponed a debate over the deal with Skopje, holding the case pending.

Mr. Tsipras said he will seek a vote of confidence if loses the parliamentary support of the right-wing party, ANEL, who said would vote against the deal with Macedonia.
The name North Macedonia formalised by vote in Parliament The name North Macedonia formalised by vote in Parliament Friday, January 11, 2019 Rating: 5
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