"Mickoski believes that the question for the referendum has several meanings and opens a way for manipulation. It contains the question about membership of the European Union and NATO, which are strategic objectives of VMRO-DPMNE, while, in practice, today's referendum is about the harmful agreement on renaming the country and nothing else. Under such circumstances, Mickoski decided not to vote in the referendum," the party said in a statement.
Mickoski’s deputy, Vlado Misajlovski, also announced that he refused to vote in the referendum.
On Sunday, Macedonia is holding a referendum on its deal with Greece to change its name to the Republic of North Macedonia. The citizens are offered to answer the question "Are you in favor of the European Union and NATO membership by accepting the agreement between the Republic of Macedonia and the Republic of Greece?" The name issue has proven to be contentious, with some political forces, including President Gjorge Ivanov, having pledged to boycott the vote.
On June 17, Greek and Macedonian foreign ministers signed an agreement on the former Yugoslav Republic's renaming to the Republic of North Macedonia, following a decades-long dispute over the use of "Macedonia," which Greece has been objecting to as this is also the name of one of its regions.
The country’s new constitutional name will open the way for Macedonia’s accession to the European Union and NATO, which has long been blocked by Athens over concerns that the neighboring country might have territorial claims to Greece’s own region of the same name.