Voting in Times of a Pandemic

Last Sunday, the Croatian parliamentary elections took place. Holding the elections in the middle of a pandemic triggered a broad debate on the restrictions of the right to vote proposed by the State Electoral Commission of the Republic of Croatia (DIP) in order to protect public health. The initial voting instructions of the Commission were substantially changed a few days before the elections after the country’s Constitutional Court got involved. Before the court’s decision people who had COVID-19 were forbidden to vote.

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Croatia’s Response to COVID-19: On Legal Form and Constitutional Safeguards in Times of Pandemic

Analysing national responses to the coronavirus, the University of Oxford study found that Croatia was the most rigorous of all the examined countries considering the actual number of infections. Overall, the Croatian response to Covid-19 might not pose an autocratic threat to the rule of law as in certain European countries. This is far, however, from suggesting there have not been significant constitutional challenges, or that we should not require an enhanced constitutional oversight over apparently quite restrictive governmental action.

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