In a previous post, I have indicated that a "corrective consultative referendum" may be on its way to the poles in the Netherlands regarding the Association Agreement the EU (but also all its Member States, as well as Euratom) signed with Ukraine.
|The number of app-based requests received, according to |
Geenstijl (x= corrected data), via @datagraver
The referendum has a consultative character only, but in the case of "NO" vote and a turnout of at least 30%, going against the outcome can not be done quietly: a draft act proposing either entry into force of the rejected act or retraction of that act, has to receive full parliamentary approval before it can enter into force. In the case of a clear decision (>60% NO) it thus seems -to me- unlikely that the law will enter into force, because approving such a law against the majority would equate to political suicide. ... Which means we are stuk with "provisional application" of the EU part of the agreement for an indefinite period, and possibly eventually a new agreement will have to be brokered.
|Council of State, in The Hague|
I wouldn't be discussing this, if the Council of State hadn't announced today, an appeal had been filed. An oral hearing date was immediately set for Thursday 22nd, and based on the decision term, that means a final decision will be given on Monday 29th the latest.
Are print outs of online requests valid?I am not sure what the grounds for the decision are, but according to website geenstijl.nl, one of the campaigners for the referendum, the point of contention is the mode in which the requests were received. They had to be sent to the Kiesraad on a designated form, or a "copy" thereof. The Kiesraad itself provided blank forms, as well as the possibility to create a pre-filled form, which only had to be printed and (manually) signed. The geenpeil campaign however, developed a web-based application, that allowed for submission of all required data, as well as the signature (to be produced using the trackpad of a laptop, drawing using a mouse, or using a touchscreen). Requests could not be printed by the applicant, but were stored on Geenpeil's servers, and printed and delivered by Geenpeil. (noone is contending this is a efficient system: the Election Council received the requests and DIGITIZED them before they further processed them)
According to Geenstijl, this system is in full conformity with the law, and they indicate they checked this with the Election Council. I am not an expert in the interpretation of the law on this point, but think the independent Election Council would have not allowed those forms, if they didn't think they would be within the law. Although we don't know which part of the requests were received using a printed computer-aided signature, according to Geenpeil, only a minority of requests were received through "regular" forms, so an invalidation of those forms will mean that no referendum will be held. But he last word is now with the Council of State.