Attempts to force a referendum on the government’s plan to create an ‘opt-out’ system for organ donation look to be doomed after organisers admitted their petition was still 200,000 signatures short with 10 days to go.
The Senate has said it will not pass a law abolishing the advisory referendum until the June 14 deadline to collect 300,000 signatures has passed. Shock blog GeenStijl is trying to orchestrate a ‘no’ vote against the proposal to make all adults in the Netherlands organ donors unless they explicitly refuse consent. So far 107,000 people have signed.
Organiser Bart Nijman claimed the delayed vote in the Senate was a ‘strategic move’ to stop the petition becoming a race to ensure one last vote could be held before the referendum is scrapped.
‘This is the worst thing that could have happened to us,’ Nijman told the AD. ‘The race attracted a lot of media interest: would the referendum be abolished before we had the chance to get this referendum off the ground? Now there is no tension, which means less interest in the press and fewer signatures.’
Both previous referendums, on the EU’s accession treaty with Ukraine and broadening security agencies’ powers to tap internet traffic, have resulted in ‘no’ votes. A ‘no’ vote does not compel the government to repeal the law, but it is required to reconsider it and present its conclusions to parliament.
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