18:12 / 04.12.2021.

Author: Branko Lozančić

MOST party begins collecting signatures for Covid related referendum

MOST party MPs before collecting signatures to petition referendum

MOST party MPs before collecting signatures to petition referendum

Foto: Emica Elvedji / PIXSELL

Across Croatia, at about 1,200 locations, the collection of signatures for the MOST party - initiated referendum has begun. Signatures are being gathered for two referendum questions that are intended to discontinue the Civil Protection Headquarters, and transfer decisions on epidemiological measures and Covid certificates to Parliament, where they would be decided on by a two-thirds majority. 

For MOST MPs, the Referendum is the last line of defense of democracy and constitutional legal order - an attempt to articulate the dissatisfaction of citizens with an institutional change in the constitution and the law; the alternative being the street and extremists.

“The next two weeks are of key importance. This is the last attempt to save society, to defend democracy and to build a firm foundation on which we will all legally, legitimately, transparently and in the best manner, fight this pandemic. The alternative is the street, violence and extremists that will grow,” said MOST party MP Nino Raspudić.

“The deadline, once the people themselves with their signatures show their will and say they want a referendum to be called, would be immediately, for every government that is democratic and whose legitimacy comes from the will of the people,” said MOST party member Maria Selak Raspudić.

MOST party leader Božo Petrov warned that today decisions are not made by Parliament, but by the Civil Protection Headquarters, without any accountability.

“You have no clue who is responsible for any measure that was adopted, for any consequence that resulted in the last two years. And that is not normal, and that is what we want to change. In the beginning it was presented as an expert body, and in the meantime, for the needs of politics and parliamentary elections, the Prime Minister said that it is his body,” said Petrov.

In Split, the MOST party set up 21 locations to sign the referendum petition. The opinions of citizens are divided as with many other issues.

“If you get tested you have 48 hours. How do you know where I have been in those 48 hours, am I still contagious? I would give my signature,” said one citizen.

“I am for Covid certificates. There must be control, the state must be respected and there must be order. At the same time, I think that if it's needed to enter state institutions it should also be needed for stadiums and theatres, any gathering anywhere,” said another citizen in Split.

Representatives of the MOST party attended protests against COVID certificates and gave their support. Commenting on arrests of people who, according to police, incited terrorism at the protests, Nikola Grmoja, said that they supported citizens who were expressing dissatisfaction and not terrorism.

“I won't answer any questions about terrorism or any kind of violence because, through our entire political and personal actions, we demonstrated that we are the last people that would advocate violence or any kind of terrorism. If anyone is involved in that, there are state institutions to address it,” said Grmoja.

MOST members want to include the state of an epidemic in Article 17, paragraph 1, of the constitution, which will require a two-thirds majority in Croatian Parliament to restrict rights and freedoms guaranteed by the constitution. The second referendum question calls for the removal of the Civil Protection Headquarters from the Law on the Protection of the Population against Infectious Diseases as a body that can decide on measures that restrict rights and freedoms.

Source: HRT

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