President of Macedonia at the UN Called for Boycott of Name Referendum

"On 30 September, I will not go to vote and I know that you, dear compatriots, will take the same wise decision. Voting for a referendum is a right and not an obligation."

This was stated by the Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov in front of the General Assembly of the UN, hours before the end of Sunday's referendum campaign. The voters are urged to approve or reject the deal with Greece, which opens the way for the country to join NATO and the European Union.

According to Ivanov, however, the condition to first change the name of Macedonia to North Macedonia, thus ending the conflict with Greece, is, in fact, a call for its residents to commit "historical suicide."

The law stipulates that from Thursday afternoon until Sunday there should be a 48-hour pre-election silence on the referendum agitation. The pro-European camp around Zoran Zaev held its final rally in Prilep, and the Albanian parties, who are for the approval of the deal, organized several press conferences and a rally in Skopje.

There are campaigns on social media for increasing the participation of people in the Referendum.

On Sunday, the Macedonians will answer the question "Do you support EU and NATO membership by accepting the agreement between the Republic of Macedonia and Republic of Greece?"  The referendum result will be valid if turnout of eligible voters is over 50 percent. In the 2016 parliamentary elections in Macedonia, the turnout reached nearly 67%.

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Bilyana Ninova

Bilyana Ninova is a Marketing specialist, content creator and hobby photographer.

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