Macedonia opposition leader urges PM to drop renaming deal

SKOPJE, Macedonia (AP) — The leader of Macedonia’s opposition has urged the left-wing government to call early elections and to give up on a deal that would change the country’s name in exchange for the chance to fulfill its NATO ambitions.

Hristijan Mickoski, head of the conservative VMRO-DPMNE party, also called on Sunday for a caretaker government to be installed until after the elections, which would take place in late November.

An overwhelming majority of Macedonians who voted in a Sept. 30 referendum endorsed changing the country’s name to North Macedonia. However, the referendum didn’t attract the required voter turnout for a valid result.

Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev hopes to force the deal through parliament, but the ruling coalition lacks the two-thirds majority needed to complete the next step — a constitutional amendment.

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