Zaev Delays Crucial Debate to Lobby FYROM MP’s



Zoran Zaev held discussions on Thursday with F.Y.R.O.M.’s opposition M.P.’s in hopes of persuading them to vote in favor of his Constitutional amendments. The premier needs at least 80 votes before any changes to the country’s constitution can come into force.

The final discussion which would eventually lead to the passing of the amendments changing the official name of the country, was set to start at 13:00 CET (12:00 GMT) on Thursday.

However, the debate was delayed for at least two hours and later was announced that it would start on Friday, as Zaev held discussions with MP’s from the Albanian minority party BESA, which is demanding a technical term be added to descriptions of the country’s new citizenship.

According to the two Albanian parliamentarians from BESA, their party is demanding a solution which ”will not make the Albanians, Turks, Vlachs and Roma populations of F.Y.R.O.M. become Macedonians.”

According to Prespa agreement the new citizenship of the country will be described by the phrase ”Macedonian/Citizen of the Republic of North Macedonia”.

The F.Y.R.O.M. premier hopes that by including additional constitutional rights for the Albanian minority, he will be able to persuade Albanian opposition MP’s to vote for his amendments.

This will bring to a conclusion the long procedure which started approximately a year ago, when Premier Zaev signed the Prespa agreement together with his counterpart, Greek P.M. Alexis Tsipras.