Holding a republic referedum

Referendum is a direct voting, i.e. making a decision by citizens. 

In referendum citizens vote on issues specified by the Constitution and law, and also on issues from the remit of the National Assembly, i.e. assembly of the autonomous province, municipality or a city, in case the competent assembly decided and deemed it necessary.

In accordance with the Constitution, the referendum, for the purpose of the vote of all citizens of the Republic of Serbia (Republic referendum), shall be called by the National Assembly, upon the request of the majority of all MPs or upon request of at least 100,000 voters.

The Constitution provides that calling a Republic referendum is mandatory in order to endorse an act on amending the Constitution, if that amending pertains to the Preamble of the Constitution, the principles of the Constitution, human and minority rights and freedoms, the system of authority, proclamation of the state of war or emergency, derogation from human and minority rights during the state of emergency   or war, or the proceedings for amending the Constitution.   

In case the referendum is called to endorse the act amending the Constitution the referendum shall be held not later than 60 days from the day of adoption of the act on amending the Constitution at the National Assembly session. Amendment of the Constitution shall be passed if the majority of voters who participated in the referendum voted in favour of the amendment.

The Constitution also defined that the subject of referendum may not include duties deriving from international contracts, laws pertaining to human and minorities’ rights and freedoms, fiscal and other financial laws, the budget and financial statement, introduction of the state of war and emergency and amnesty as well as issues pertaining to electoral competences the National Assembly. 

Holding of Republic referendum was regulated by the Law on referendum and people’s initiative ("The Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia", No 48/94 and 11/98).  

It is mandatory that an act on calling referendum shall contain a question that will be the subject of the citizens’ vote.

A question which is the subject of vote in referendum must be clearly expressed so that it can be answered with the words “for” or “against” or the words “yes” or “no”.

No less than 15 days and no more than 90 days shall pass between the day a referendum is called and the day it is held.  

The Republic referendum bodies consist of the Republic commission, municipal and city commissions and electoral boards.

Republic commission shall be established by the National Assembly, as a body which called referendum, while the Republic commission shall set up municipal and city commissions and electoral boards.

Referendum is deemed valid if the majority of citizens registered in the electoral roll voted.

The decision on a subject question in referendum is deemed passed provided that it was taken by a majority vote of the citizens registered in the electoral roll, if the Constitution or law does not stipulate a larger number for that purpose.

The decision passed in referendum will be binding.

When citizens have voted on a certain act/issue, the National Assembly shall be obliged to pass the act observing the will of citizens expressed in referendum within the time limit specified by the decision on holding the referendum, not later than 60 days from the date when the referendum was held.

If citizens voted in referendum in favour of endorsing an act, that act shall be deemed adopted as of the day of holding a referendum, or as of the day of promulgation of the subject act.

If citizens have not endorsed the act in referendum, that act would not be deemed adopted.

If citizens have not endorsed an act or issue in a referendum, the voting in referendum on the subject act or issue cannot be repeated within less than 6 months from the voting day in the last referendum. 

The most recent Republic referendum was held on 28th and 29th October 2006 for the purpose of endorsing the new Constitution of the Republic of Serbia.

In accordance with the Decision on calling a referendum ("Official Gazette of the Republic of Serbia“, No 83/16), citizens voted on the question: “Do you approve of endorsing a new Constitution of the Republic of Serbia?“.

The mentioned decision prescribed that the Republic Electoral Commission will be in charge of holding of the Republic referendum.