Kristina Pavlović (Photo: Patrik Macek/PIXSELL) Kristina Pavlović (Photo: Patrik Macek/PIXSELL)

The initiative says the legal action being pursued is because the ministry is not allowing the initiative's representatives to participate in verifying the number and legitimacy of the signatures they gathered in their bid to hold a referendum on repealing the controversial Istanbul Convention.

The initiative says the ministry has gone against the fundamental principles promoted by the Venice Commission - an advisory body of the Council of Europe composed of independent experts in the field of constitutional law.

"We want to know why the ministry of administration is not allowing our observers to participate in the process," said Kristina Pavlović, a spokesperson for the initiative. "They say that the participation of independent observers is not regulated by existing laws. But at the same time, the practice is not forbidden either. The same law also states that the government does not need to verify the legitimacy of the gathered signatures, but, regardless, they have chosen to do so, and in the way they see fit."

'The truth about the Istanbul Convention' says it is a clear sign that the government does not want to conduct the verification process in a transparent and open manner - a move they say leaves the door open for manipulation.

Source: HRT