Government passes bill on general referenda

The government has approved a bill that will allow citizens to call referenda on the basis of petitions. If approved by Parliament, a general referendum could be called by obtaining 250,000 signatures or by the government. The bill would allow citizens to vote on domestic or international issues that exceed the term of office of one government. They could not be used to decide on the appointment or dismissal of individual officials, tax issues or judicial rulings. Passage of the bill requires a constitutional majority, for which the coalition will need opposition support. The opposition Social Democratic Party has voiced disagreement with various aspects of the legislation, such as the 50% turnout requirement needed for decisions made in referenda to take effect.