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North Macedonia president won’t sign 11 bills under new name

March 11, 2019

SKOPJE, North Macedonia (AP) — The president of North Macedonia has refused to sign proclamation decrees for 11 bills approved by parliament with the country’s new name, because he objects to the name change.

According to lawmakers, President Gjorge Ivanov’s office informed them that he has “always acted in accordance with the solemn oath that he would protect the constitution and defend the interest of the Republic of Macedonia.”

Ivanov’s stance is a mere delaying tactic. If parliament votes for the legislation a second time, he has no right to refuse to sign.

Ivanov’s second and final five-year term ends May 12. He was a fierce opponent of the name change deal signed with Greece that ended Greek objections to North Macedonia joining NATO. He argues the deal violated the country’s constitution.