Almost simultaneously while President Hristijan Mickoski was repeating the promise that if the census in the referendum is filled and the majority of citizens support the agreement with Greece, then his party will vote to amend the constitution – VMRO-DPMNE MPs started declaring that they would not raise their hand to change the name. Synchronized, since the early hours of the morning, statements from VMRO MPs started to arrive, saying that they will not allow the country’s past to be wiped out. On the other hand, the public is already speculating on the names of certain MPs of VMRO-DPMNE that will shift to the government’s side and will help reach the figure of 80 that the majority needs to ratify the agreement from Mala Prespa.
“I will not vote in favour of the constitutional changes for the change the constitutional name of the Republic of Macedonia. Macedonia is my ideal and my everlasting love. It is an emotion and a cause that does not go away. The position of the people, voters and membership against the announced changes to change the constitutional name of the Republic of Macedonia is very clear. Both the people, the voters, and the membership. The pressures and undemocratic procedures of SDSM’s power in the referendum campaign, which are intensifying more and more every day, are obvious, especially in the local communities. All this additionally compromises and questions the result and the democratic character of the upcoming referendum,” Vlatko Gjorcev said.
He says the referendum question is manipulative because the vast majority of citizens are “for” membership in the EU and NATO, but are “against” the unprincipled obligations imposed on Macedonia and the Macedonian people.
“It is a major problem and manipulation that the concrete constitutional changes are not announced for days, weeks and months, so that the citizens do not know and can not see what exactly their statement is required for. For all these reasons, as a member of parliament in the legislature of the Macedonian state, I will not vote for the announced constitutional changes,” Gjorcev said.
The deputies were in line with Mickoski
Similar announcements came from Dafina Stojanovska, Zoran Ilioski, Emilija Aleksandrova, Dimitar Stevanandzija, Pavlinka Cestojnova, Nikola Micevski, Vesna Damcevska-Ilievska, Nevenka Stamenkovska, Blagica Lasovska, Magdalena Manaskova, Trajce Dimkov, Liljana Zaturoska, Liljana Kuzmanovska, Vasil Pisev, Vlatko Gjorcev etc.
“As a candidate for a VMRO-DPMNE MP, I asked for your support in the 2011, 2014 and 2016 parliamentary elections. As I did then, I say this again and I say it loudly: I do not agree and I will not support the change of the Constitution of the state in order to change the constitutional name of the Republic of Macedonia. I will not be an MP, but first of all, a citizen of Macedonia, who will agree to erase the past of the country, to erase the work of our ancestors and to contribute to the creation of the future of young generations without a past. They ask us a question that does not deserve an answer,” said Ane Laskoska.
VMRO-DPMNE’s explanation is that the statements of the MPs were in the same line as that of President Mickoski, that is, the people’s representatives are going from the prerequisite that the necessary census of 903,000 citizens that will go to the voting polls on September 30th will not be fulfilled. The last two intra-party surveys they have done showed that a maximum of 650,000 citizens would vote. They have already expressed suspicion that there will be falsification of electoral will. However, leader Mickoski leaves room for support for constitutional changes.
“If both conditions are met: the first to have a census and the majority vote in support of the referendum question, the situation is clear and there will be no dilemma,” repeats the president of VMRO-DPMNE.
Who will “betray” the leader
Whether there is a census or not, the processes are moving to the Assembly. In order to pass the last obstacle to the ratification of the agreement, 72 members of the government and the opposition BESA supporting the agreement should be joined by at least eight of the coalition “For joint Macedonia”, which has 48 members. VMRO-DPMNE has 42, three are from the Socialist Party, one from the party of the Serbs, one from the Bosniak party and one from Stevce Jakimovski’s party. Two of the three socialists are (in)directly dealing with the Special Public Prosecutor’s Office. Ivan Stoiljkovic and Pance Minov have stated that they are against.
However, there are bets throughout the city, not for MPs from the coalition, but for those inside within the opposition VMRO-DPMNE, of who will be the ones to “betray” Mickoski. Among them are the names of former state and current party officials, as well as members of the Executive Committee. How much of this is true will be seen in the next period. First, let’s wait for the referendum voting to end, and then see if there will be a need for transfers.