Referendum Activists Criticise Government’s Signature-Counting Practices

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, October 12, 2018 – Activists of the civil initiative “The Truth about the Istanbul Convention” insisted on Thursday that they had enough signatures for a referendum to invalidate the ratification of the Istanbul Convention, saying that they would fight with all means available to prove that they had enough signatures, in contrast to media reports claiming the contrary.

Speaking at a press conference in the Parliament building, they again expressed their resentment because the Public Administration Ministry would not let them have their own observers in place during the verification of signatures carried out by the APIS IT support agency.

They said they had organised eight buses to take their supporters to a protest rally scheduled for this Saturday in the eastern town of Vukovar.

MP Hrvoje Zekanović of the HRAST party said that this party would continue to support this initiative until they “toppled the Istanbul Convention”. He added that this was a political struggle in which Public Administration Minister Lovro Kuščević was using political manipulation.

Activist Kristina Pavlović said they knew they had enough signatures, recalling that they had complained to the Constitutional Court because they had not been allowed to have their own observers during the signature verification process. She expects that the Constitutional Court will uphold their complaint, because “if observers had been there, there would have been no speculation.”

Pavlović denied media reports that they had used signatures from the marriage referendum of several years ago. She said they did not want to comment and were awaiting official results which Minister Kuščević said would be announced next week.

HRAST leader Ladislav Ilčić said that the ruling coalition was afraid of the referendum. “This government is afraid of citizens, and Prime Minister Plenković behaves like an autocrat. The fear of citizens and refusal to respect their will are not good and this will have consequences in the long term,” he said.


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