Bridge MP Miro Bulj wondered why the ruling majority did not want to determine a deadline for the referendum. “Why haven’t they set a deadline? In whose interest is it to block our initiative?” he asked.
Social Democratic Party (SDP) leader Peđa Grbin claimed that since the outbreak of the pandemic this government has been wandering, and that different rules apply to different people.
That has led to the situation that Croatia has the highest COVID death rate and the HDZ (Croatian Democratic Union) and its actions have led to this referendum, he said.
Grbin recalled that the last referendum motion too had a lot of unclear situations and appealed that signatures should not be counted by the government but by the State Electoral Commission (DIP) and that a deadline should be fixed for that.
Marijan Pavliček (Sovereignists) said that the introduction of COVID certificates was ridiculous because they have not produced any results and called on the ruling majority to accept the will of the people and call the referendum as soon as possible.
Dalija Oreškoivć (Centre) said that the HDZ’s ‘engineering’ has shown that it does not respect the state, institutions, parties, or citizens.
HDZ whip Branko Bačić dismissed the criticisms and said that the Sabor decides on the technical aspects and the proposal by its committee that the government should check the signatures and that representatives of the referendum initiative should participate in checking the signatures.
The referendum calls for the abolishment of COVID certificates, even though they exist in other EU member states, and abolishing them would mean to indirectly and directly shut Croatia’s borders and would contribute to the spreading of the virus in society, said Bačić.