In March, the highest court will decide on the constitutionality of the name change

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On March 18 the Constitutional Court is expected to hear from seven petitioners who are challenging the way in which the Zaev regime imposed the name change on the country. President Gjorge Ivanov refused to sign the order to amend the Constitution, and ultimately it was published in the official gazette with the signature from Parliament Speaker Talat Xhaferi.

Macedonians largely boycotted the September 2018 referendum when the proposal to rename the country was put to a vote, and under 37 percent voted. President Ivanov cited this fact as evidence that the proposal was rejected by the public, but Zaev went ahead regardless and put it to a vote in a Parliament, where he blackmailed a group of opposition representatives to support the proposal.

Under the Constitution the Speaker has no authority to sign such legislation, says lawyer Tome Todorovski, who is one of those challenging the decision before the Constitutional Court. “Having Xhaferi sign the order was a brutal act of abuse of office”, he told Republika.