Anti-spring hunting signatures passed on to Constitutional Court

The Electoral Commission verifies signatures demanding spring hunting referendum, asks Constitutional Court to request referendum

The Electoral Commission has verified the signatures collected by the anti-spring hunting coalition and passed on the petition to the Constitutional Court.

Electoral Commissioner Joseph Church told MaltaToday that the signatures have been verified and in the coming days the Constitutional Court is expected to publish a notice confirming that enough signatures have been collected. 41,494 valid signatures were presented to the court.

The Constitutional Court will officially request a referendum once the three-month period in which objections can be filed in court is over. If no objections are upheld by court, the referendum is expected to be held in March 2015.

The first 10 signatories can file a reply to the objections and the court can then proceed with its judgement. If the court upholds the request for a referendum, it must be held within not less than three months, and by not more than six months.

In April, the Coalition Against Spring Hunting presented the Electoral Commission 44,376 signatures to petition for an abrogative referendum on spring hunting.

Following a laborious process, the commission has validated the signatures, confirming that the petition reached 10% of registered voters on the electoral register.

This would be the first abrogative referendum Malta. If the referendum fails, another referendum on the same subject cannot be held before the lapse of two years.