GONG Against Referendum Initiatives

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, May 14, 2018 – The GONG election monitoring NGO said on Monday it disagreed with the latest referendum initiatives, telling Croatia’s political elites to regulate election and referendum legislation.

GONG said in a press release that disagreed with the “Truth about the Istanbul Convention” initiative to repeal the ratification of the Convention because it believed the ratification had marked a positive step forward in the protection of human rights in Croatia after a long time, and that its repeal would be a step backwards in terms of respect for human rights and equality.

GONG said it disagreed with “The People Decide” initiative, aimed at changing election legislation, because one of the proposed referendum questions was aimed at restricting the rights of ethnic minority MPs. That would be contrary to the principle of parliamentarism, which demands equal status and rights for all MPs, it added.

“Without denying the importance and relevance of the urgent need to regulate and democratise the election system and political parties, we believe the contents of the referendum question aimed at reducing the constitutionally defined number of members of parliament, reducing the number of ethnic minority deputies, introducing three preferential votes without thresholds, changing the borders of constituencies, reducing the election threshold for some slates from 5 to 4 percent, and introducing postal and electronic voting, should not be regulated by the Constitution but a comprehensive, single election law,” GONG said.

A coherent and consistent regulation of election legislation should be put up for expert and public consultation as urgently as possible so that Croatia can finally have a single election law enabling an effective and fair balance between representative and direct democracy, GONG said.

It hopes these initiatives will force Croatia’s political elite to regulate election and referendum initiatives, otherwise “we will continue to be faced with capricious referendum initiatives,” the press release said.


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