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Constitutional Change for EU May Bite Croatia in Gay Rights Referendum

CroatiaCroatia goes to the polls this weekend for Sunday’s referendum on constitutionally defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman, but a law change made by the nations leaders to help Croatia access the European Union might turn around and bite them in the backside…

“According to the laws of Croatia, If 10 people turn up to the referendum and 6 vote ‘for’.. then the referendum will be valid and for the first time discrimination will enter the Croatian Constitution. We will embarrass Croatia,” said Croatia’s Deputy Prime Minister Vesna Pusić.

The nations leaders have filmed a short YouTube clip urging voters to vote against, but no longer do 50% of the nations voters plus one need to turn out to make a referendum valid in Croatia after parliament made a constitutional change ahead of the referendum on joining the European Union in 2010.

On 30 April 2010 there was a change made in the Croatian Constitution exclusively to suit the EU referendum, and meant that no longer were 50% plus 1 votes out of the nations voters required to make a referendum valid. Only around 44% of voters turned out back in 2012 for the EU referendum, making it invalid under the original constitution. Only 26% of the nations eligible voters on that day voted to join the EU.

Ironically Pusić and the nations leaders on Sunday will be hoping for a larger turnout as possible, the opposite of the case back in January last year for the EU referendum.

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