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Wednesday 19.09.2018 | Name days: Verners, Muntis
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Saeima: referendum initiators need the signatures of one tenth of the electorate

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During the second hearing on Thursday, April 26, Saeima supports the bill, which dictates the refusal of the two-phase systems for the collection of signatures on legislative initiatives. Instead, holding a referendum now requires around 150 00 signatures which the referendum initiators need to collect themselves from now on.

This new practice does not relate to Saeima dismissal initiation – this legal action still requires 10 00 signatures, 1/10 of which the Central Election Committee (CEC) is authorized to collect. The Parliament dismissal initiation will be held if 1/10 of the electorate’s signatures are collected.

In all other cases no less than one tenth of the electorate’s signatures will have the right, by showing a Name, Surname, Personal Code as well as signature and date, to file a fully developed bill or a Constitution amendment project to the CEC. The bill or Constitution amendment project can be filed in 12 months’ time from the day the bill or Constitution project is registered at the CEC.

Every voter signature will need to be certified by a sworn notary or a municipal institution which performs notary services during that 12 month period. Signatures can also be collected electronically, if the electronic signature identification and personal data protection systems are guaranteed.

According to the proposed order the bill or Constitution amendment project of the initiative group is to be registered by the CEC. The Committee will then need to make a decision in 60 days’ time – whether or not to register the initiative group or to submit a draft remedial.

The CEC is authorized to refuse registering the bill of the initiative group, if the initiative group does not adhere to all the requirements or, if the bill or Constitution amendment project is not fully developed. Therefore, the problem of not being able to check if a filed bill adheres to the Constitution is solved.

The Commission also supported the regulation, which dictates that CEC’s decision not to register the referendum initiative group and their bill or Constitution amendment project can be challenged in the Regional Administrative Court, the decision of which will need to be made in one month’s time. It is also provided that the Court’s decision is not subject to appeal.

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