Survey: Majority of citizens to vote at upcoming referendum

Survey: Majority of citizens to vote at upcoming referendum
Over 40 percent (namely 41.5%) of the citizens of Macedonia are set to say ‘yes’ to the referendum question:  "Are you in favor of EU and NATO membership by accepting the Agreement between the Republic of Macedonia and the Republic of Greece?”, against 35,1% who intend to voice disagreement, according to the latest poll of the Macedonian Center for International Cooperation (MCIC).

Most of the respondents – 66.4% - will come out and cast their votes at the 30 September referendum, while 19.8% are set to join the initiatives for boycotting the plebiscite.

Results show that 27.4% of ethnic Macedonia will vote ‘for’ Macedonia’s EU, NATO membership and Macedonia-Greece agreement and 45.2 will vote against. However, vast majority of ethnic Albanians – 88% - will vote in favor, as it is the case with 49.2 percent of young people.

The State Elections Commission intends to spend about MKD 170 million (app. EUR 2,7 million) for the referendum on  Macedonia-Greece agreement, scheduled for 30 September.

‘SEC is obliged to adopt the financial plan and its first draft sets the total sum of the referendum expenditures at MKD 170 million (app. EUR 2,7 million), cutting for 20% the funds approved by the Parliament for the upcoming plebiscite,’  SEC chair Oliver Derkovski told reporters on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the Association of Journalists of Macedonia (AJM), Independent Trade Union of Journalists and Media Workers (SSNM), Council of Media Ethics of Macedonia (CMEM) Macedonian Media Institute (MIM) and the Institute of Communication Studies (ICS) criticized Tuesday the State Election Commission (SEC) for its interpretation of the latest changes to Electoral Code related with media presentation during the campaign for the upcoming referendum.

The latest amendments to the Electoral Code, which legalize the role of media in political advertizing on the tax-payers account, refer only to election campaign, not for organizing a referendum, the organizations said in a press release.

The opposition VMRO-DPMNE will inform the public whether it will support or boycott the referendum by 10 September, party leader Hristijan Mickoski said Tuesday in an interview with the Channel 5TV.

On numerous occasions VMRO-DPMNE has voiced its opinion about amending the constitution in favor of changing Macedonia’s name, Mickoski said.

During the summer VMRO-DPMNE intends to consult with its supporters on the matter, Mickoski said, pointing out that citizens would be informed about the party stance on time, namely by 10 September when the referendum campaign was set to kick off.

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