Wednesday, 20 February 2019

Pirate Party for strict referendum conditions

9 February 2018

Prague, Feb 7 (CTK) - Czech Pirates will insist on implementing two types of referenda in the debate on the proposal of the law on general referendum, while they are for stricter conditions in the decisions on constitutional changes and the EU to prevent abuse of this instrument, party spokeswoman Karolina Sadilkova told CTK on Wednesday.

The validity and binding character of a constitutional referendum would arise if there is the consent by 60 percent of the voting people, while a civic initiative would require twice as many signatures than in the case of a common referendum, she added.

Thanks to two levels of the referendum, the introduction of the plebiscite will not put democracy at risk, Jakub Michalek, chairman of the Pirates' deputy group, said.

The Mayors and Independents (STAN) warn of the danger in connection with the proposal submitted by the Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD).

They called on the rest of parties to turn down the dangerous proposal right in the first reading.

A national referendum should only make decisions of major importance and very exceptionally, STAN warned.

It definitely should not relate to bills, let alone constitutional acts, it added.

Besides, a referendum must have a clear quorum of the turnout to be valid.

In order to prevent potential complications, citizens should be able to decide in a constitutional referendum for the first time with a several-year distance, Sadilkova said.

"At first, they should get used to the rules of common referenda. The elements of direct democracy should be introduced gradually," she added.

On Tuesday, the referendum conditions were discussed by Prime Minister Andrej Babis's ANO, the SPD and the Communists.

They differ on the number of the signatures necessary to call a referendum. The SPD is for the limit of 100,000, while ANO says it should be perhaps eight times more.

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