Bridge MP Says 10,000 Referendum Signatures Missing

By 7 March 2022

7 March 2022 - MP Nikola Grmoja of Bridge said on Monday the party refused a report on the number of signatures collected for a referendum against the national COVID-19 crisis management team due to a discrepancy in the numbers of submitted and entered signatures, but that there were still enough.

"We refused this report because something is obviously wrong. According to their report, we have enough signatures for a referendum to be called but 10,000 signatures are missing. Only 397,000 were entered, while we submitted 409,000. It's not clear where the rest of the signatures is," he told the press.

Grmoja said 6% of the signatures was invalid and that Bridge knew this already.

"That leaves about 372,000, which is enough for calling a referendum, but we can't agree to this because the counting (of signatures) for the other referendum petition is still under way. Given this irregularity, it's possible they will try to do something with the other one (petition)."

Grmoja said Bridge would ask the Administration Ministry to explain the discrepancy and that it would not accept the report until it was told what happened.

Ministry will allow access to entered data

The ministry's spokeswoman Martina Andrijević said a little over 397,000 signatures were counted and entered into the system and that 24,498 signatures were invalid.

She said representatives of the referendum petition were present during the signature counting and entering into the system, and that today began the verification of signatures collected for a referendum against COVID certificates.

As for Grmoja's claims about missing signatures, Andrijević said the ministry verified those that were delivered from parliament.

She said the boxes with the signatures were opened in the presence of the referendum petition's representatives. "We verified all the signatures that were delivered."

She said the ministry would allow them to check the data entered if they requested it, adding that the procedure was transparent "in every stage".