The MOST opposition party initiated a petition drive to force a referendum to abolish COVID-certificates and the un-elected National Civil Protection Directorate. The deadline to collect the signatures needed to force a referendum expired on December 18th. MOST is currently verifying the signatures before submitting them to parliament.
After the Constitutional Court convened for a regular session on Tuesday to decide on the constitutionality of COVID-certificates and mandatory testing in health care institutions and the social welfare system, at which it ruled that both the certificates and mandatory testing are in line with the constitution, Prime Minister Andrej Plenković told reporters that the restrictive measures being adopted by his government and the National Civil Protection Directorate are legal and non-discriminatory: "I think that all of the activities we have undertaken on the basis of the law and the authority given to the government by parliament, and from the government to the directorate, were always, exclusively, led by logic and the protection of our citizens' health. And that all of the decisions had a legitimate goal, and that they were not discriminatory and proportional to the threat we face."
For its part, the MOST opposition party, which claims it has collected enough signatures to force a referendum to abolish COVID-certificates and disband the un-elected National Civil Protection Directorate, says it is unconcerned with the court's ruling.
"We are not concerned, we're not in a debate with the Constitutional Court. The public is watching and observing the court's actions. I can only say that the Constitutional Court cannot abolish the people or individual citizens as the bearers of sovereignty, but the people can abolish them. There are plenty of countries that do not have a Constitutional Court. Maybe it wouldn't be a bad idea to do the same here. To confer its authority to the Supreme Court, and to abolish this expensive body that holds minimal respect in the public eye," said MOST MP Nino Raspudić.
MOST and those backing the referendum want to return decision making authority to the Croatian Parliament, with any restrictive measures requiring a two-thirds majority to be implemented. Yesterday, President Zoran Milanović said that he believes that Prime Minister Plenković and the HDZ-led coalition government will use any methods necessary to block the referendum.
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