Initiative for NATO referendum presented
The NATO Referendum Committee presented on Monday an initiative to collect signatures of 10% of the electorate with the aim to request a referendum on Croatia‘s NATO membership.
ZAGREB, March 10 (Hina) - The NATO Referendum Committee presented on Monday an initiative to collect signatures of 10% of the electorate with the aim to request a referendum on Croatia's NATO membership.
"The initiative is unbiased and neither for nor against NATO accession," committee spokeswoman Lana Vego told the press, underlining that the only interest was to have a referendum.
The committee was set up on February 25 and preparations are under way under the slogan "The decision to the people - NATO to the referendum".
Vego said the collection of signatures would begin throughout the country later this month or in early April, ahead of the NATO summit in Bucharest where Croatia expects to be officially invited to join.
The committee, which is funded from donations, referred to the Constitution, which says that a referendum is mandatory if 10% of the electorate request it.
Spokesman Aleksandar Hatzivelkos, another spokesman, said the committee was set up because NATO accession was a strategic decision which citizens should make at a referendum. He said polls conducted in the past six months showed that more than 70% wanted a referendum, regardless of whether they were for or against accession.
Asked about reactions from parliamentary parties, Hatzivelkos said no official response had arrived yet. He called on parties to support the committee, notably those which advocated the referendum before last autumn's parliamentary election - the Social Democrats, the Peasant Party, and the Social Liberals.