The Parliament in Skopje begins a new, final round of debate today before the deciding vote on the constitutional amendments drawn up by the government of Zoran Zaev, according to the provisions of the Prespa Agreement.
The debate may last up to three days for each of the four amendments, but due to the abstention of the main opposition right-wing VMRO-DPMNE party, experts say that the final vote could be held as soon as the end of this week.
The four amendments concern several areas. One provision will change the official name of the country, which will be the ”Republic of North Macedonia”, and alter the preamble of its Constitution. Other amendments deal with the country’s care for its diaspora around the world and the respect of the territorial integrity of the country’s neighbors.
The government’s proposals include implementing law which states that the citizens of the country will be described by the phrase ”Macedonian/Citizen of the Republic of North Macedonia”, but the phrase will not determine their nationality.
FYROM is a multi-national state. The majority are Slavs who call themselves ”Macedonians”, but a significant part of the population, fully one quarter, are ethnic Albanians.
Zaev hopes that by including additional constitutional rights for the Albanian minority, he will be able to obtain a favorable vote from Albanian opposition MP’s. This would give him the majority necessary to pass his Constitutional amendments and meet all the prerequisites set by the Prespa Agreement.