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Halt to "non-citizen referendum" may backfire on Latvian nation in the future

 RIGA, Nov 2 - The Central Election Commission's decision to halt the second round of signature collection for holding a referendum on the bill proposing Latvian citizenship to all non-citizens may backfire on Latvia in the future when other important matters will be at stake, sociologist Arnis Kaktins, director of the sociological research agency SKDS, said in an interview with Latvian State Radio today.
"Taking into account the geopolitical situation in Latvia and the fact that history tends to repeat itself, as well as the current demographic trends, birthrate and so on, the Latvian part of society should be very careful with anything that many infringe on democracy and freedoms in the country, because it seems that sooner or later it will backfire on us," believes Kaktins.
Kaktins believes that the referendum has been halted because the "evil Russian-speakers" want to force something on the rest of the community, however, he will not be surprised if a similar referendum will be necessary in, for instance, ten years in order to protect Latvian ideas. Which is when it will turn out that holding such a referendum is impossible due to the precedent - incomplete documents or something not in line with the core of the Constitution.
Kaktins is confident that, even if the necessary number of signatures for staging the referendum was collected, the nation would vote the proposal down in the referendum, as proved by public opinion surveys carried out by SKDS.
As reported, the Central Election Commission decided yesterday that the second round of signature collection for staging a referendum on automatic citizenship for all non-citizens of Latvia would not be organized, because the draft bill amending the Citizenship Law was not fully elaborated.
The other reasons why the referendum will not be held - the bill is not in line with Article 2 of the Constitution and the May 4 Declaration on the Restoration of Independence of the Republic of Latvia. Also, the bill will increase the number of Latvia's citizens significantly and pose threat to the principle of continuity of the State of Latvia.
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