Gong to politicians: Enable development of local democracy by changing the referendum law

03. October 2022.
Gong to politicians: Enable development of local democracy by changing the referendum law 1

Gong invites the citizens of Pula to participate in the Sunday's referendum and decide themselves on the development of their city and the future use of the Lungomare area.

Democracy means participation, the participation of citizens in making political decisions that affect their lives.

After the Srđ referendum, another important local referendum takes place under the conditions of a bad and restrictive law, which deliberately places obstacles too large to pass, due to connecting the validity of the decision with the obligatory demand for a turnout of 50 percent of all registered voters, thus actually making local democracy impossible in practice.

In addition, there are completely inconsistent and illogical rules in force, related to the state referendum, where the decision is based solely on the majority of voters who participated in the referendum, without the condition of the size of the majority compared to the total number of elligible voters.

Despite this, Gong, who has been advocating for a reform of the referendum legislation for years, proposing a much lower turnout quota of 25 percent for local referendums, calls upon the citizens of Pula to not stay at home, but to go to the referendum and decide the fate of their city.

Had the legal framework been changed ten years ago, when Gong started to insist on this topic, we would not be in a situation now where referendums fail due to low turnout, but would rather have citizens that make decisions about the development of their cities, which would be binding for local authorities.

Last week, Gong reacted to the campaign of the Hotel Valkane investor, which told citizens to stay at home and ignore their right to participate in democracy, claiming that such a way of fighting against the use of democratic procedures, which seek to take advantage of existing legal deficiencies of local referendums, shows terrible cynicism towards the idea of ​​democracy.