President Gjorge Ivanov called on the Parliament to reject the Zaev – Tsipras treaty and to vote against the proposed constitutional amendments which rename Macedonia into North Macedonia. Speaking at the final address to Parliament of his 10 year term, President Ivanov reminded the members of Parliament that a large majority of voters refused to participate in the referendum meant to appove the renaming of Macedonia and therefore the representatives of the people don’t have the right to rename the country.

I hope that the ruling majority will muster courate to listen to the voice of the people and will reject the Prespa agreement and the constitutional amendments. The referendum failed. With abstaining from the referendum, the people decided against these hasty, imposed and harmful decisions which are being pushed through without nation wide consensus. On September 30th, by not voting, the silent majority very loudly announced its decision. It decided that nobody has the mandate from the people to amend the Constitution in order to change the constitutional name and to trade away our identity, President Ivanov said.

He strongly rebuked Prime Minister Zaev, who was sitting in the front row, for the way in which he is trying to reach the necessary 81 votes in Parliament which he needs to amend the Constitution, with overt pressure on the representatives, using criminal prosecution and dangling the prospect of amnesty.

When I offered amnesty in 2016, my goal was to achieve reconciliation through an expression of mercy. Now, your amnesty is offered to amend the Constitution through blackmail, said President Ivanov. His address comes as the Parliament adopted one amnesty law and is quickly dismantling the existing laws against abuse of office, in order to offer another amnesty to members of Parliament forced to vote with Zaev.

President Ivanov quoted the first President of independent Macedonia, Kiro Gligorov, as saying that the name and identity issue is far greater than any Constitution, Government or political party, and that no individual or even an entire generation has the right to trade away the national identity.

We see how the Macedonian people are becoming taboo in the Republic of Macedfonia. Few years ago we had an attempt to ban a book. This year there was an attempt to ban a movie because it cover a Macedonian related topic. Our history books are about to be banned. And now we have the proposal to hold a census without registering the ethnic background of the citizens. What’s the point of a census without the ethnicity? Don’t you realize that there will be no Ohrid framework treaty without this determination? You can’t love Macedonia if you don’t love the Macedonians. Are we supposed to be the only country in the Balkans which does not have a nation building people? The Prespa treaty denies the Macedonian people. Creative interpretation of the treaty with Bulgaria deconstructs Macedonian history and the Tirana platform abuses the unconstitutional law on languages in an attempt to dismantle the Macedonian state, warned President Ivanov.

According to the President, insisting to resolve the name issue with Greece at any cost means that Macedonia will end up paying the highest price possible for the deal.

The price of the way we are resolving the Macedonian issue is to legally and historically anull the Macedonian people. Yes, without a Macedonian people, a Macedonian identity and a Macedonian language there is no Macedonian issue. In other words, we are resolving an identity issue by denying its existence. This pushes the Republic of Macedonia and the Macedonian people in a legal, political and historic abyss. Pandora’s box has been opened and now everybody will claim the right to deny our heritage. Pushed forward under the excuse that it will end the name issue with Greece and open our way to the European Union and NATO, this treaty in fact ends the Republic of Macedonia as we know it, said President Ivanov.