sunny.png
Tuesday March 19th, 2019 1:26PM

Macedonian PM struggles to secure majority for name change

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

SKOPJE, Macedonia (AP) — Macedonia's prime minister was struggling Thursday to get the required number of lawmakers to finalize constitutional changes that will rename the country North Macedonia and allow its NATO accession under a deal with neighboring Greece.

Zoran Zaev told reporters in Skopje that he has not yet secured support from the required two-thirds of the 120-seat parliament, or 80 lawmakers. A planned parliamentary session on the matter Friday was postponed.

Zaev's efforts were complicated when a small ethnic Albanian party demanded that the planned constitutional designation "Macedonian citizenship" be changed to "citizens of the Republic of North Macedonia."

The party says this will safeguard the identity of ethnic Albanians — about a quarter of Macedonia's 2.1-million population.

Zaev said the reference to Macedonian citizenship is key for his country in the deal with Greece. He also said that a group of opposition conservative lawmakers who had initially supported the constitutional changes — and were subsequently ejected by their VMRO-DPMNE party — strongly opposed the ethnic Albanians' demand.

Hundreds of opposition supporters protested in front of parliament for a second day Thursday against the deal, demanding early elections and the dissolution of parliament.

VMRO leader Hristijan Mickoski addressed the rally, accusing Zaev of "bargaining" with lawmakers to secure the two-thirds majority.

He has claimed Zaev exerted pressure on members of the judiciary on cases involving conservative party lawmakers, or their family members, accused in connection with a violent parliament invasion last year.

"Look how publicly, how openly, this trade is going on with (Macedonia's) name and identity, like at a market stall," Mickoski said.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP World News
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Macedonian PM struggles to secure majority for name change
Macedonia's prime minister is struggling to raise the parliamentary majority needed to finalize constitutional changes that will rename the country North Macedonia and allow its NATO accession under a deal with neighboring Greece
12:12PM ( 13 minutes ago )
The Latest: Police say 3 killed in Congo election protest
The Latest: Police say 3 killed in Congo election protest though country largely calm
12:00PM ( 25 minutes ago )
Brexit sparks showdown between UK Parliament and government
As Brexit enters its endgame, the big divide is not between the U.K. and the European Union, but between Britain's government and its Parliament
11:53AM ( 32 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Parts of Austria, southern Germany sink deeper into snow
Heavy snowfall is continuing in parts of Austria and southern Germany, with several places cut off and the bad weather expected to persist
11:10AM ( 1 hour ago )
US apparel firm cuts off Chinese factory in internment camp
U.S. apparel firm severs ties with Chinese factory in internment camp
11:03AM ( 1 hour ago )
Venezuela's Maduro to celebrate 2nd term as crisis deepens
President Nicolas Maduro is being sworn in for a second, six-year term amid widespread international repudiation that his increasingly authoritarian rule has stripped Venezuela of its last vestiges of democracy
9:50AM ( 2 hours ago )
AP World News
The Latest: Police say 3 killed in Congo election protest
The Latest: Police say 3 killed in Congo election protest though country largely calm
12:00PM ( 25 minutes ago )
Brexit sparks showdown between UK Parliament and government
As Brexit enters its endgame, the big divide is not between the U.K. and the European Union, but between Britain's government and its Parliament
11:53AM ( 32 minutes ago )
The Latest: FBI agents say shutdown affecting operations
The association that represents thousands of FBI agents says the partial federal government shutdown is affecting the bureau's operations
11:52AM ( 34 minutes ago )
German leader Merkel in Athens, praises economic turnaround
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is holding talks with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in Athens, with Greek authorities banning demonstrations in a large part of the capital's center and shutting down streets and subway stations for security reasons
11:51AM ( 35 minutes ago )
Truck Series champion Moffitt replaces Sauter at GMS Racing
Brett Moffitt will be able to defend his Truck Series championship with a different team in 2019
11:49AM ( 36 minutes ago )