The current head of the Women’s Union of Macedonia’s main opposition VMRO DPMNE party, and an MP serving her second turn, recently attracted hostile attention as one of the few senior party representatives to vote in the September 30 referendum on the historic agreement with Greece.
Daniela Rangelova says that although she did vote, she voted “against” the agreement reached this summer with Greece, which would oblige Macedonia to change its name in exchange for faster European and Atlantic integration.
However, voting at all was still against the practice of most of her party colleagues and her party leader, Hristijan Mickoski. Mostly they did not vote and effectively boycotted the plebiscite, helping to render the result [in favour the deal] invalid.
As a result, she and others who turned out to vote have come under pressures and faced threats and accusations.
Another party member, the former Macedonian ambassador to Hungary, Igor Esmerov, was attacked at two days ahead of the September 30 referednum, the police had confirmed. Esmerov was a voiced opponent of the referendum boycott.
Rangelova’s Facebook profile was filled with hostile messages, accusing her of having betrayed the party and the country.
She is unrepentant, however, saying she “does not regret it”, as it was her duty to have her say.
|“I don’t want to believe that these threats were orchestrated by some kind of centre of power or interest”, Rangelova said.|
“The ‘name’ issue goes above political parties and only Macedonian citizens should decide about it, in a referendum – because only that way can we have a clear picture of their will, whether we favour or are against it,” she says, of the June agreement.
“Unfortunately, after the vote, I and my colleagues faced unprecedented pressures, insults and threats to our lives through the social media,” Rangelova adds, with a note of disappointment.
“I don’t want to believe that these threats were orchestrated by some kind of centre of power or interest – but the fact remains that the party did not condemn or react to these lowest forms of primitivism that were prevalent on social media,” she says.
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