Baily: Parliament to take next step in Prespa Agreement’s implementation 

The US strongly supports the Prespa Agreement, and now following the result of the consultative referendum the Macedonian Parliament should take the next step for its implementation, Ambassador Jess Baily told reporters on Monday.

‘We welcome the result of the consultative referendum in which strong number of citizens came out in support of Macedonia’s path forward to NATO and the EU by accepting the Prespa Agreement. We think this agreement, which we have strongly supported, opens the way to Macedonia’s future in NATO and the EU and that’s something that will bring benefit to this country, the citizens of this country, but also the region, its prosperity stability and security. So now, the next step in the implementation of this agreement is to go to the Parliament and in that context we would hope that the leaders and MPs put aside partisan differences, consider the broader interest of the country and seize this historic moment that can help secure Macedonia’s future in the family of west institutions – something which the people of this country have sought virtually since the country’s independence,’ US Ambassador Jess Baily said.

Asked to comment the voters’ response, Baily said the political leaders should seriously take into consideration the number of 660,000 voters in making decisions on the future steps regarding the agreement.

‘Looking at the turnout I think what’s important is that you have 660,000 voters who came out to support the agreement. There were a number of voters who didn’t turn out. Some obviously boycotted, some maybe are not in the country, some maybe don’t vote. If you look at the average number of voters in the parliamentary elections in Macedonia over the last 20 years, it is about 1,1 million. So, 660,000 voters is a majority of that (number). It’s a considerable number the political leaders need to take into consideration as they move forward to the next step regarding the agreement,’ Baily said.

Commenting the possibility of calling snap elections, Baily said: We are focused on the implementation of the Prespa Agreement.’

‘With regards to the elections, that’s up to the Parliament and the political leaders of this country to decide,’ he added.