Activists Demand Referendum against Istanbul Convention

By 21 April 2018

ZAGREB, April 21, 2018 - "The Truth about the Istanbul Convention," initiative comprising several civil society organisations, has established an organising committee for voters to call for a referendum on repealing the Istanbul Convention and called on citizens to sign their petition between May 13 to 27 and help collect 400,000 signatures required for a referendum to be called.

Members of the NGOs gathered in Zagreb's downtown Ban Josip Jelačić square on Saturday and said that the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence promotes gender theory which will have a a confusing and disastrous effect on Croatian society.

The head of the initiative, Kristina Pavlović, rejected doubts of the constitutionality of repealing the convention based on the will of the people noting the example of Brexit. "The example of Brexit shows that claims that an international agreement can't be repealed based on the will of the people at a referendum are incorrect," she said.

She insists that the possibility of repealing the convention is incorporated in the convention itself and that attempts are being made in public to try and discourage citizens from going to the referendum. "Attempts are being made to discourage those who believe in democracy, who believe that power comes from the people and belongs to the people," she added.

"In a situation when lawmakers think that the party chief's opinion is more important than what the people think, the people have to raise their voice at a referendum," said Rozalija Bartolić, a representative of widows of fallen soldiers in the Homeland Defence War.

Pavlović added that a large number of volunteers have joined them to help collect signatures in order to call for the referendum and that she was confident they would collect the signatures of 10% of the electorate as required.