The World Macedonian Congress (WMC), which successfully initiated the 2004 referendum against redrawing the municipal borders in Macedonia, announced it will begin collecting 150.000 signatures to hold a new referendum on the name issue.
As WMC President Todor Petrov said, the question will be “are you in favor of changing the name into Republic of North Macedonia”. It’s the direct question which many supported ahead of the September 2018 referendum, but the ruling majority in Parliament choose a three part question in which the name change was also related with joining EU and NATO. The move was expected to increase turnout and the Yes vote, by tying the extremely unpopular name change with the much better regarded issue of joining the two institutions, but ultimately the referendum failed with a turnout of mere 36 percent, and the Government decided to ignore its outcome and go ahead with the name change anyway.
A Parliament Committee today approved the WMC request and the organization will be able to begin collecting signatures soon. They will have three months to gather 150.000 signatures, after which, if they are successful, the Parliament will have to hold the referendum.