FYROM name change unclear as only 34 percent of voters turn up to polls

FYROM referendum

FYROM referendum

The referendum on changing the name of FYROM saw a very low turnout on Sunday night, with prospects for the so-called 'Prespes deal' between Athens and Skopje now appearing unclear.

Only thirty-four percent of eligible voters turned up at the polls. With 80 percent of the 91.2% of votes were in favour of the name change and fewer than 6% against.

Prime Minister Zoran Zaev called the results “a success for democracy and for a European Macedonia.” But with most voters abstaining, it’s unclear whether the deal can actually move forward.

According to FYROM’s constitution, at least a 50% voter turnout (or 903,000 of 1.8 million eligible voters) is needed for the referendum to be legally valid, with polling stations seeing small amounts of people coming to cast their ballots.

The question posed to voters at the ballot box was: “Are you in favor of membership in NATO and the European Union by accepting the deal between [the] Republic of Macedonia and Republic of Greece?”