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Cabinet agrees on 15/16 June 03 as suitable date for referendum

The cabinet has agreed June 15-16 2003, as a suitable date for the country's referendum on EU accession, although the president can only make the calling of the vote. The proposed dates, a Sunday and Monday, differ from the usual pattern for elections in the Czech Republic, which normally take place from lunchtime Friday to lunchtime on Saturday. Deputy Prime Minister and Justice Minister Pavel Rychetsky told journalists that under the proposal the polls would be open from lunchtime Sunday and all day Monday.

The government believes the late weekend and the beginning of the working week is more suitable as it will enable more people to give their opinion about the country's future. "People from the big cities leave for weekend breaks on Fridays, it is on Sundays they return and on Mondays they are back at work," Rychetsky added.

The Chamber of Deputies approved the bill on the referendum in October and the Senate-initiated bill should be approved by the upper house next week. The electorate will be faced with the question: "Do you agree with the Czech Republic becoming a member of the EU in accordance with the Czech EU accession treaty?"

(NewsBase 11.xi.02)

 
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