NGOs and unions: No passaran to “castration of democracy”

Activists of a few nongovernmental organisations on Monday raised their voice against prohibiting civil society associations and foundations from financing referendum activities and promotion, as envisaged by a bill on financing political activities, election campaigns and referenda, which is to receive first reading in the national parliament.

The activists warned that this bill would be an additional blow to civic referendum activities, following restrictive proposals in the bill of amendments to the Referendum Act.

Nenad Zakosek of the GONG association stressed that the said bill had incorporated a provision banning financing by civil society activities, except by employers and trade unions, from financing referendum initiatives.

Zakosek noted that, on the other hand, political parties would not be barred from financing referenda, and he can see no reason to discriminate against NGOs in this context.

Some unionists joined civil society activists in criticising this bill, and said no passaran to “castration of democracy”.