Serbia’s NGOs fear abolishment of census in referendum may be abused

Ustav Srbije

Serbia's NGOs warned on Wednesday that the constitutional changes and amendments to the Law on Referendum, whose main aim was to abolish the 50 percent plus one census for a referendum to be valid, could lead to the abuse of the regulation.

The Venice Commission most serious objection is that the Law on Referendum is changed before the citizens declare themselves about the Constitutional changes.

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„According to international standards, it is necessary for a year to pass from the day the law is adopted until the law is applied in practice to achieve what is called the stability of referendum legislation. Unfortunately, we have a situation not only that the law will be applied very soon, but there is also the possibility of overlapping the referendum and election campaign,“ Milan Filipovic, from the ‘Yukom’ organisation, said.

The devil, however, is in the details. The law also regulates local referendums, and one such could be held on the exploitation of lithium in the western Loznica area.

„The absence of census opens the possibility that in case of a weak response, a few of those who come out will make a fateful decision for all citizens,“ Bojana Selakovic from the Civil Initiatives warned.



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