Turnout in FYROM name vote under 29 percent

Turnout in FYROM name vote under 29 percent

The state election commission in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) says voter turnout for a referendum on changing the country's name to “Republic of North Macedonia” to pave the way for NATO membership stood at 28.8 percent two hours before polls close.

State Electoral Commission head Oliver Derkoski provided the updated turnout figure as of 5 p.m. Sunday.

Low turnout could make it harder for FYROM Prime Minister Zoran Zaev to persuade lawmakers to vote on constitutional changes needed for the deal with Greece to become final.

The country’s Constitution requires a minimum turnout of 50 percent of eligible voters for a binding referendum. However, Zaev's government says the referendum was called as a consultative move.

That means it could interpret the outcome as a fair reflection of public opinion regardless of how many voters participated. [AP]

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