Macedonia Referendum flop put name deal at risk

A referendum to change the name of Macedonia failed to secure the 50 percent turnout required to make the vote valid, the head of the election commission said on Sunday, Reuters reports.

Macedonia’s Prime Minister Zoran Zaev announced he will forge ahead with his bid to pass the ‘name’ agreement with Greece through parliament, despite his “yes” campaign failing to draw enough voters to pass the turnout threshold required to make Sunday’s historic referendum legally valid, Balkan Insight reveals.

The European Union also aims to use momentum from the name-change deal, agreed between Zaev and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in June, to resolve other dangerous disputes in the region, such as the frozen conflict between Kosovo and Serbia, according to

What happens now? (BBC)

Mr Zaev has threatened to call early elections if MPs did not support the proposal. He and his coalition partners will need at least a dozen opposition MPs to back the move.

“More than 90% of the total votes are ‘Yes’, so now it is parliament’s turn to confirm the will of the majority,” he told AFP.

“I am determined to take Macedonia into the EU and Nato,” he said. “It is time to support European Macedonia.”

The Greek parliament must also give its approval for the change to go ahead.