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Macedonia's Zoran Zaev hails name-change referendum result despite low turnout

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Monday, 01 October, 2018, 10:30
Macedonia's Zoran Zaev hails name-change referendum result despite low turnout

Despite low voter turnout, Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev has declared Sunday's referendum on changing the country's name to North Macedonia a "democratic success."

Electoral officials said more than 90 percent backed the renaming deal, but only around 35 percent of the electorate cast ballots — well short of the 50 percent threshold needed to make a poll legally valid.

However, the referendum was neither legally binding, nor was it required under the so-called Prespa agreement with Greece on changing the country's name

Voters were asked whether they backed the deal to change Macedonia's name , which aims to settle a long-running dispute with Athens and pave the way for Skopje's NATO and European Union membership.