NGO Demands Repeal of Referendum Signatures Inspection Procedure

By 5 January 2019

ZAGREB, January 5, 2019 – The Truth about the Istanbul Convention civil society organisation on Friday submitted an appeal to the Constitutional Court, proposing the revocation of the entire procedure of inspecting signatures collected for a referendum initiative to abrogate the Istanbul Convention's ratification in parliament and that a new signatures inspection be carried out by the State Election Commission in the presence of the NGO's observers.

A representative of the NGO, Kristina Pavlović, told a news conference, held outside the Constitutional Court on Friday, that the Public Administration Ministry and the APIS agency applied "bureaucratic formalism" while inspecting the signatures collected for the purpose of a referendum to declare invalid as many signatures as possible.

The NGO has called on the parliament to entrust the State Electoral Commission to conduct an independent check of the signatures and allow its observers to be present during the check.

According to the ministry's data, the Truth about the Istanbul Convention civil initiative submitted 390,916 signatures for its referendum petition, of which 345,942 were valid and 44,974 invalid. A total of 374,740 signatures are required to call a referendum.

Pavlović said more than 33,000 signatures have been declared invalid due to illegible handwriting.

More news on the referendum initiatives can be found in our Politics section.