UMD: Boycotting the Macedonia Name Referendum is The Only Solution

Yesterday, in an unlawful manner that violates the Constitutional provisions and the Rules of Procedure of the Parliament of the Republic of Macedonia, Parliament Speaker, Talat Xhaferi, convened a consultative referendum with 68 votes FOR and 0 votes AGAINST or ABSTAINED. The ruling block of SDSM, DUI and BESA, without the presence of MPs from the opposition VMRO-DPMNE, adopted a referendum question that reads: “Are you for EU and NATO membership by accepting the Agreement between the Republic of Macedonia and the Republic of Greece?”

The United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD) believes that this question is unacceptable due to its manipulative nature that hides the real outcome of the agreement with Greece, which implies changing the name of the state to the Republic of N**** Macedonia and erases Macedonian history and identity. At the same time, the absence of the opposition and expert opinions in the adoption of the referendum question, as well as the consultative nature of the referendum that allows political unpredictability regardless of the public opinion, UMD considers that the country’s legal and democratic standards are put in question.

According to the world’s scientific and political practices, a consultative referendum is a tool of participatory democracy that serves to consult public opinion BEFORE (and not after) the signing of a bilateral or multilateral treaty. Hence, the announcement of a consultative instead of a binding referendum estimated to cost 3.5 million euros is not only a precedent, but also a significant expense for the state, whose people on September 8, 1991 with a majority of 95% declared sovereignty, thus solidifying the name and identity of their country.

Consequently, with a view to preserving the dignity of the Republic of Macedonia and preventing political unpredictability, UMD’s position, as the largest organization of Macedonians outside Macedonia, has always been against the referendum on changing the name of the Republic of Macedonia. UMD expresses its support for and joins the campaign of the global non-partisan movement “We Are Macedonia” for a boycott of the referendum scheduled for September 30, 2018.

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