North Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov (pictured above) has refused to sign proclamation decrees for 11 bills approved by the country’s parliament bearing the newly changed name of the country.
President Ivanov has “always acted in accordance with the solemn oath that he would protect the constitution and defend the interest of the Republic of Macedonia,” the office of the president told lawmakers.
Having been elected as president with the support of the conservative opposition party VMRO-DPMNE, Mr Ivanov was a fierce critic of the name change deal signed between Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev and his Greek counterpart Alexis Tsipras.
The so-called Prespa Agreement ended Greek objections to North Macedonia joining NATO and the European Union
Pro-government MPs argue that the country is facing a potential constitutional crisis and that Mr Ivanov’s actions could jeopardise North Macedonia’s chances of being invited to begin EU membership negotiations in June.
Mr Ivanov, who has been the president of the country since 2009, will complete his second and final term on May 12.