SKOPJE, June 19 (Xinhua) -- Macedonian Assembly on Tuesday adopted amid tensions and debates with 69 votes for "for" and 40 votes "against" a draft law proposal for ratification of a name deal with Greece to be brought in shortened procedure.
The decision was opposed by the opposition VMRO-DPMNE deputies, who have been against the agreement with Greece since its announcement by the government.
Following the speech of one of the co-coordinators of the opposition parliamentary group Dragan Danev, who said the agreement is counter-constitutional and that this government wants to introduce deputies to participate in this genocide of the legal state, VMRO's deputies left the session of the Assembly.
The European Affairs Committee of the Macedonian Assembly will discuss the proposal and after passing to the Commission, the proposal will be sent again in the plenary session for final ratification.
A protesting group went in front of the Assembly at a time when the debate about approving the bill on ratification of the name dispute settlement agreement was underway.
The gathered citizens have called on the leader of VMRO-DPMNE, Hristijan Mickoski and his deputies to join the protesters.
"We call on Mickoski to get out here and prevent the loss of the state. Zoran Zaev (Macedonian Prime Minister) cannot sell Macedonia. We call on you and we ask you to resign. If they think they can settle us as a nation, they are very wrong, "stated the organizers of the protest, appealing to other citizens to join as well.
Meanwhile, the Assembly has continued the debate in a tense atmosphere where it is trying to pass the bill on ratification at first reading, then to go to parliamentary committees for discussion
The protests against the agreement began on the day of the announcement of the agreement by Zaev, while Monday night they escalated with violence. Macedonian interior ministry reported that 17 people, including 10 police officers, were injured, while 26 people were arrested.
According to the police's announcement, forcibly detained persons had pushed police barricades, stoned police and other pyrotechnic tools with an attempt to enter the Assembly.
On Sunday Macedonian Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov and his Greek counterpart Nikos Kotzias signed the final agreement on the name dispute settlement and the establishment of a strategic partnership between the two countries.
Both countries have been working towards settling the decades-old dispute over the use of the name Macedonia in the past months. The issue began in 1991 when the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) declared its independence from Yugoslavia, choosing the name Macedonia, which is also the name of a northern Greek province.
Athens is worried that the use of the same name by the neighboring state could lead to territorial claims.