Ministries to Check Referendum Signatures

By 2 August 2018

ZAGREB, August 2, 2018 - The government on Thursday instructed the Public Administration Ministry and the Ministry of the Interior to verify the number and authenticity of signatures collected by the "Truth about the Istanbul Convention" initiative and the "People Decide" initiative and to check if the signatures for the petition against the Convention were collected in line with the law.

The "People Decide" civic initiative has submitted lists with 405,342 signatures seeking a referendum on electoral changes and another 407,469 signatures for a referendum question that would propose stripping national minority representatives of the right to decide on government formation and the state budget.

The "Truth About the Istanbul Convention" initiative has submitted 377,635 signatures to annul the ratification of the Council of Europe Convention on the prevention of violence against women and domestic violence, known as the Istanbul Convention.

The signatures for the two referenda were collected in May. Organisers had to collect the signatures of at least 10% of the total number of eligible voters, namely 374,740.

After the signatures are verified, the parliamentary Committee on the Constitution, Standing Orders and Political System is expected to decide whether the referendum questions need to be sent to the Constitutional Court to decide whether the questions are in line with the law.