Slovakia's referendum fails on low voter turnout
The bid by a new centre-right party to reform Slovakian parliament through a popular referendum failed Saturday for lack of voter interest, dpa reported.
Only 22.84 per cent of Slovakia's 4.3 million voters participated in the referendum according to the state statistical offices SU SR, which posted unofficial results on an internet website.
That was well below the 50 per-cent threshold needed to validate the outcome under Slovakian law.
Those voters who participated, however, supported all six issues in the referendum with a clear majority, as had been expected. They backed controversial proposals to downsize parliament, cut the privileges of politicians, and abolish radio and television license fees.
Leading politicians from both government and opposition ranks opposed the referendum, which was initiated by the newly-formed Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) in the run-up to parliamentary elections in June. The SaS is part of the centre-right coalition government that took power in July.
Under the constitution, the president had to call the referendum after more than 350,000 eligible voters signed a petition initiated by the SaS.
Six referendums have been held in Slovakia since it gained independence in 1993, but only one drew out the required number of voters - the 2003 poll that paved the way for Slovakia to join the European Union.