Monday, 20 August 2018 | News today: 22

Zaev tells possible referendum question

Prime Minister Zoran Zaev following leaders’ meeting held late Wednesday told that wording of referendum question could be: ‘Do you favour EU and NATO accession by accepting the agreement between the Republic of Macedonia and Republic of Greece?’ and that the upcoming referendum should be consultative.

All of us who stayed at the leaders’ meeting are in favor of successful referendum, while the moves of (Hristijan) Mickoski, demonstrated on behalf of the opposition VMRO-DPMNE, are unserious, irresponsible and insulting to all political parties and the citizens of Macedonia, Prime Minister Zoran Zaev said Wednesday.

However, Zaev scheduled another leaders’ meeting for Thursday at 12:00h in a smaller format with participation of only four major political parties, as Mickovski demanded.

“I talked with the leaders of the political parties tonight and informed them about the possible wording of the referendum question which could be” ‘Do you favour EU and NATO accession by accepting the agreement between the Republic of Macedonia and Republic of Greece?’,” Zaev said.

He also said that they discussed the Article 27 of the Law on Referendum which reads that when parliament is to adopt significantly important decision for the future, referendum should be consultative.

The decision is considered final if at least 50 percent of the total number of registered voters cast their vote at the referendum, Zaev said.

VMRO-DPMNE leader Hristijan Mickoski has left the leaders’ meeting one hour after it began.

Speaking to members of the media, he said he had expressed ‘revolt’ over the fact that officials of all parliamentary parties hadn’t been invited to attend.

The leaders’ meeting is being attended by only those parties represented in Parliament by at least two deputies.

Mickoski said he had called on PM Zoran Zaev in the coming days, until Monday at the latest, to organize another leaders’ meeting in its ‘traditional’ format – the leaders of the four largest parties in Macedonia, SDSM, DUI, VMRO-DPMNE and the largest opposition party of the Albanian bloc.

VMRO-DPMNE, he stressed, remains firm to its positions.

“VMRO-DPMNE expressed serious revolt and disapproval of the deviant conduct by the government and representatives of the ruling majority, who yesterday voted in favor of changing the Electoral Code without the support of the largest opposition party,” Mickoski told journalists.

PM Zaev convened the meeting after opposition VMRO-DPMNE blocked the process of appointing members of the State Election Commission (SEC), which is set to organize the referendum over the name agreement with Greece.

On Tuesday, MPs voted in favor of adopting amendments to the Electoral Code referring to the election of members of the State Election Commission in a fast-tracked procedure.

Earlier in the day, the government forwarded the changes to the Electoral Code to be considered in Parliament that foresee for SEC members to be elected with a majority of 61 MPs, instead of two-third majority.