ZAGREB, October 31, 2018 – Public Administration Minister Lovro Kuščević said on Wednesday about 130 citizens and four or five associations had applied to see the invalid signatures collected for two referendum petitions but that the People Decide initiative was not among them, adding that this initiative did not care about truth and objectivity, but about the basest politicking.
Speaking on Croatian Radio, he said the government, in order to respond to unjustified attacks on the verification of the signatures collected, had invited citizens, initiatives, and associations to apply to see all the signatures declared invalid. He recalled that there were 40,000 invalid signatures for each referendum question.
Kuščević said about 130 citizens and four or five associations had applied to see the signatures, including the GONG election monitoring NGO and the Croatian Helsinki Committee on Human Rights. “To me, that was a big surprise and disappointment and proof that the People Decide initiative has a purely petty-political approach in pressuring the public,” the minister said, adding that this initiative, although the loudest, did not have the morals to apply to see the irregularities that he said were committed during the signature collection.
The People Decide collected signatures for a referendum to change the election system.
Kuščević said the organisers of the other referendum petition, to rescind the ratification of the Istanbul Convention, had applied to see the invalid signatures. He said that perhaps members of the People Decide had applied to see the signatures as individuals but not as an initiative. “This shows how much they manipulate the people who signed the petition and how much they manipulate the public, how much they don’t care about the truth, objectivity, but about the basest politicking.”
Kuščević said the procedure of allowing access to the invalid signatures would be defined in a few days.
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