Prime Minister Zoran Zaev is set to meet with Bilal Kasami, leader of the ethnic Albanian BESA party, as it threatened to pull its support for the amendments that rename Macedonia into North Macedonia.

BESA has five members of Parliament, but it is uncertain how many of them would listen to Kasami’s decisions, after a faction was formed among them under pressure from the Government. Kasami reportedly met with diplomats in Skopje, but remained firm that he will not vote to amend the Constitution unless the nationality clause is modified and it no longer lists “Macedonian”. Kasami also wants additional changes that would further erase mentions of the Macedonian national character of the country.

Zaev needs to get to 81 votes to push the amendments through and is counting on a number of former VMRO-DPMNE members of Parliament who faced criminal charges and negotiated amnesty deals, as well as lucrative public contracts for some.

Zaev will also meet with Ziadin Sela, from the opposition Alliance of Albanians, which has three members of Parliament.