The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) appears to be heading for early elections in November as it seems unlikely the government will secure the two-thirds majority needed in Parliament to ratify the name deal with Greece.
Talks between the government of Prime Minister Zoran Zaev and opposition nationalists VMRO-DPMNE appeared to be at a dead end Thursday after the latter demanded his resignation to make way for a 100-day caretaker government.
The request was rejected by Zaev, who, nonetheless, expressed hope there will be a breakthrough by October 10.
“We believe there could a result by the end of the week or the beginning of the next,” Zaev said, adding that he still hopes the deal will get enough backing in Parliament.
A senior official of the Democratic Union for Integration (DUI) representing the country’s ethnic Albanians said he was hoping for the emergence of “brave MPs of VMRO-DPMNE to back the deal.”
The name deal with Greece – under which FYROM will be called “North Macedonia” – was overwhelmingly approved in a referendum on Sunday but the low turnout prompted opponents to say the result was worthless.
The country’s electoral commission said as much, declaring the vote invalid, while VMRO-DPMNE described the deal as “dead.”
Meanwhile Russia Thursday accused Western countries of trying to drag FYROM into the NATO military alliance, even after the Balkan country’s electoral commission ruled the referendum invalid.
The vice chairman of VMRO-DPMNE, Aleksandar Nikoloski, defended his party’s stance, saying that the problem is “Zoran Zaev and his Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov who signed an agreement they cannot implement.”