Referendum Order starts formal countdown to abortion vote
The countdown has begun for the abortion referendum after the Chief Minister, Fabian Picardo, signed the Referendum Order on Friday, officially kickstarting the campaign.
This gives effect to the new Act that was passed in Parliament earlier this week.
During the signing held at No.6 Convent Place, Mr Picardo also signed an order for referendum to include voters between the ages of 16 and 18.
A third order was signed that appointed Paul Martinez as Referendum Administrator.
“I think that there are two aspects to today that makes this significant,” Mr Picardo told the Chronicle.
“The first is that we are convening for the first time ever a referendum to be held in Gibraltar under a homegrown piece of Gibraltar Referendum legislation.”
“And this is very important because there were challenges from outside of Gibraltar on the joint sovereignty referendum that we had, people were saying that there was no legislation to deal with that referendum.”
“So I am very pleased that this is the beginning of our Referendum Act 2015 coming into effect.”
“The second thing that I am doing is that I have officially pressed the start pistol for the Referendum on the Crimes Act that will happen on June 24.”
Gibraltar was a week away from holding the referendum in March 2020, but because of the global Covid-19 pandemic, this was postponed.
“We have already had a motion in Parliament that empowered me to sign the Order and I have now signed the Order,” he said.
For his part, Referendum Administrator, Mr Martinez told the Chronicle the voting lists opened as from Friday afternoon.
Together with the team, everything will be done in order to ensure Covid-19 public health measures are met as people head to the voting booths.
Mr Martinez is encouraging those who are eligible to vote in the referendum to check to ensure they are on the Register of Electors.
He also said people should apply for a postal vote early if they would prefer to do so.