Macedonia name change vote fails to reach threshold - BBC

09:40, 01 October 2018
World
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REUTERS

Preliminary results show that just over a third of Macedonians voted in the referendum, with 50% needed, according to the BBC.

But with 90% of those who took part in favor of the change, the country's prime minister has urged parliament to "confirm the will of the majority".

The vote aimed to end a long-running dispute with Greece, which has its own region called Macedonia.

Read alsoGreece, Macedonia sign pact to change ex-Yugoslav republic's name

Athens had agreed to end its objections to Macedonia's EU and Nato membership bids if the change was passed.

Over 85% of votes have been counted so far, but a campaign by some nationalists - including the country's president - to boycott Sunday's referendum seems to have had an impact, with just 36% of eligible voters taking part.

Prime Minister Zoran Zaev threatened to call early elections if parliament did not support the proposal, made non-binding by the poor turnout.

"If, as we all expect, we truly have a big visible, tangible majority for [voting in favor], out of those who voted, then the future is clear," he said after polls closed on Sunday.

"The vote of the MPs in parliament must resolutely be a vote for a responsible acceleration of the processes towards NATO and the European Union."

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