Address by the President of the Republic of Macedonia
Monday, 01 October 2018 15:26   

PRM_Obrakjanje_ReferendumRespected citizens of the Republic of Macedonia,

On yesterday's referendum, the people rejected the Prespa Agreement. By refusing to vote, the people clearly pleaded against hasty, imposed and harmful decisions adopted without a previously reached national consensus. The silent majority decided. The boycott is the voice of those who are underestimated and not heard.

The message from the people is sent to those who must hear it.

The reality is that the referendum did not succeed. Do not try to change this reality. Do not underestimate the sovereign will of the Macedonian people. We cannot talk about the will of the majority in conditions when the legal census on the referendum is not fulfilled. 36.9% turnout is not the will of the people, but 63.1% who did not go out.

No matter how much you try, you cannot change the reality. And the reality is that the referendum is unsuccessful. It is time for responsibility before the Macedonian people.

The support for the EU and NATO is collateral damage to the unpopular referendum. The support for the EU and NATO of over 80%, you reduced it to only 36.9%. You are also manipulating our citizens, and selling false ideas and perceptions to our European and Euro-Atlantic partners

A state is not led by a free and unauthorized interpretation of the Constitution and the laws of the Republic of Macedonia. At the same time, I expect the OSCE/ODIHR Observation Mission to consider seriously the complaints about the irregularities at certain polling stations.

I advise those who interfere in the internal affairs of the Republic of Macedonia and unprincipled take sides to respect the international conventions on diplomatic relations. Those who have a democratic deficit cannot impose solutions contrary to the sovereign will of the Macedonian people.

Dear fellow citizens,

Just a couple of days ago, from the United Nations podium, the US President, Donald Trump, said that "freedom, peace and democracy are only possible in sovereign and independent states". Yesterday, the Macedonian people showed its sovereign will. Like the French President Macron, I believe in the strong identity of every nation, I believe in the history and ambition of our Macedonian people.

The referendum is not a poll. The decision of the citizens obliges. In a referendum, citizens directly exercise their sovereign power. The Assembly must respect that decision.

Therefore, I congratulate the Macedonian people, Albanians, Turks, Serbs, Roma, Bosniaks and Vlachs for their decision.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Let me turn to all the citizens of the Republic of Macedonia who came out yesterday and gave their vote in the referendum.

Only firmly united around our state interests, respecting the constitutional and legal order, we can walk along the path to the European and Euro-Atlantic family. We have no doubts that the place of the Republic of Macedonia is in the EU and NATO. But we need to enter there with our human dignity, without blackmail, pressure and double standards. Only in this way can we deal with the two big challenges:

The first challenge is serious and thorough reforms in all segments, because without real judicial reform, without justice and the rule of law, without the fight against corruption, without the fight against party elitism and clientelism, there is no membership in the Union and NATO.

The second challenge is to rebuild our national consensus so that we can act, in one voice and unity, in defending our state interests and achieving our strategic goals.

In the end, as President of the Republic of Macedonia, I would like to remind you that in almost all decisive moments of the history of Macedonia, the people made wise decisions. It is our responsibility to respect that decision. This should be a lesson for all political parties to be careful what they promise and to whom.

As a citizen, however, I expect the ruling majority to bear responsibility for the failed referendum. We all face defeats in our lives. Some of us more, some less. The size of a person is to recognize and accept the defeat.

Yesterday, the Republic of Macedonia remained undefeated.

Long live the Republic of Macedonia.