Representatives of the 'People Decide' civil initiative have criticized Public Administration Minister Lovro Kuščević for destroying the checklists used to declare some 40 thousand signatures of the group's referendum bid, invalid.
The group, who sought to introduce sweeping changes to the country's election system via popular referendum, is once again calling for an independent review of the invalid signatures.
Natalija Kanački of the 'People Decide' initiative said the move destroyed the only evidence that could put an end to the months-long debate over the legitimacy of tens of thousands of signatures.
"What exactly was on those checklists? They actually contained explanations and insight into why those signatures were declared invalid: name, surname, personal ID number, and the reason why the signature was rejected; as well as precisely where, and in which volume, the signature was located. There were five such checklists and all of them have been destroyed. Along with those checklists, all the necessary proof we needed to confirm why those 40 thousand signatures were declared invalid, has been destroyed," said Kanački.
The 'People Decide' and 'Truth about the Istanbul Convention' civil initiatives both say they submitted well over the minimum required signatures needed to force their respective referendums, and have accused government of a slew of irregularities, including opting to have a private company and not the state electoral commission count and verify the signature collected in their petition drives.