Macedonian Name Change Referendum Fails

The name change referendum in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia has ended. The reported voter turnout was low at an estimated 34% of the registered voters exercising their right. The required minimum for the results to be valid was 50% or 900,000 people.

Nova TV reported on the event. For Macedonia to change its name to North Macedonia and end its name dispute with Greece, the decision had to be approved by a majority of more than 50% of the voter base. Despite the fact this referendum and the negotiations around it have been the number one topic in Macedonia for the last months, the turnout was much weaker than necessary.

While the promotion for voting yes to the answer “Are you in favor of European Union and NATO membership by accepting the agreement between the Republic of Macedonia and the Republic of Greece?” was big, it seems as if more Macedonians preferred to boycott the referendum. Protesters against the vote gathered in front of the Skopje parliament building.

The tone of the question asked was intentionally conceived to appeal to Macedonians desiring to integrate into the EU and NATO, it also revealed their unwillingness to do so, at least not at the terms stated in the deal with Greece.

Image Source: Wikipedia

Alex Dimchev

Alex Dimchev is a writer, editor, and weapons master for

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