Both referendum petitions fail to meet threshold required

NEWS 17.10.2018 14:16
Source: Ivica Galovic/PIXSELL

Public Administration Minister Lovro Kuscevic said on Wednesday that neither of the two initiatives, which called for changing Croatia's election law and the revoking of Croatia's adoption of the Istanbul Convention on combating violence against women, had managed to collect enough valid signatures for a referendum on the issues to be called.

Kuscevic said at a government meeting on Wednesday that the initiative called People Decide which called for a referendum on proposed changes to the election laws collected little more than 412,000 signatures, with more than 371,000 declared valid.

According to Croatian law, petitions needed to collect 10 percent of the electorate in Croatia, which amounts to about 374,000 signatures.

The group’s second proposal, which involved barring MPs who represent ethnic minorities to decide on government cabinets and the state budget collected nearly 408,000 signatures, with more than 367,000 declared valid.

Another group, which called for a referendum to revoke the Istanbul Convention, had submitted nearly 391,000 signatures, of which some 346,000 were valid.

These initiatives collected signatures in public on May 13-27.

After the petitions were handed over, in August the government instructed the ministris of public administration and interior affairs to verify the signatures collected.

The Public Administration Ministry then tasked Apis IT, a government agency which creates software for state institutions, to verify the collected signatures, and the result of Apis’ check was presented on Wednesday by Kuscevic.

In the meantime, the People Decide group lodged a complaint with the Constitutional Court, asking it to rescind a decision made by the parliament and the government to check the signatures, claiming that the government was in conflict of interest, as members of government and the ruling Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) party had voiced opposition to their proposals.

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