Politics

Istrian Democratic Party (IDS) Warns of Problems Regarding Additional Voting Rights For Italian Minority

By 11 May 2021
Istrian Democratic Party (IDS) Warns of Problems Regarding Additional Voting Rights For Italian Minority
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ZAGREB, 11 May, 2021 - Istrian Democratic Party (IDS) secretary-general Giovanni Sponza and MP Katarina Nemet on Tuesday pointed to a problem concerning ballots that makes it more difficult for members of the Italian minority to exercise their additional right in the 16 May local election.

Sponza said that in towns and municipalities where this is so regulated, as well as at the county level, deputy heads from the Italian minority are elected on separate slates, which, he said "is a novelty of the coming election because until now they were elected on the main slate together with mayoral candidates."

"In addition to being able to vote for candidates for municipal heads, mayors and the county head, as well as for municipal and town councils and the county assembly, members of the Italian ethnic community also have the right and can vote for their own candidates on a separate slate," said Sponza.

However, he added, in line with instructions from the State Election Commission, members of electoral committees do not have the obligation to offer a ballot with nominations for deputy heads from the Italian ethnic community but rather members of the Italian community have to ask for it themselves.

The problem is that a large number of members of the Italian ethnic community are not aware of that possibility, Sponza said, noting that stakeholders who set rules should make an effort to inform voters of their legal rights and possibilities and that by making voters ask for a ballot on their own, they are discriminating against them.

"We consider that unfair because all citizens should be equal in the election process," said the IDS official, adding that he wanted "to believe that this approach has nothing to do with the coming census in Croatia."  

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