Global General

Low turnout makes Slovakia's referendum invalid

Updated: 2010-09-19 15:00
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PRAGUE - A referendum initiated by a Slovakian center-right party to reform the country's parliament failed on Saturday as the turnout was lower than required.

The Freedom and Solidarity, a liberal party established in 2009, initiated a referendum before the parliament election in June. They proposed to downsize the country's parliament from 150 to 100 delegates, reduce politician's privileges and abolish radio and television license fees.

However, figures from the Statistics Agency of the Slovak Republic showed that only 22.84 percent of Slovakia's 4.3 million voters took part in the referendum, far below the 50 percent threshold to validate the result.

Both the government and opposition politicians were against the referendum. President Ivan Gasparovic said he would not participate in the vote because it amounted to "only a political campaign benefiting a single party."

Since Slovakia gained its independence in 1993, six referendums have been held, yet only the one in 2003 that paved the way for the nation to join the European Union reached required number of voters.