Voters force referendum on new communication tapping law

AP News
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Posted: Nov 01, 2017 5:53 AM

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The Dutch electoral commission says an advisory referendum will be held next year on a law giving intelligence agencies sweeping new powers to tap electronic communications.

The commission announced Tuesday that 384,126 citizens signed a valid request for the referendum, easily surpassing the 300,000 threshold necessary to put the new law to a public vote.

The referendum will likely be held March 21 next year at the same time as municipal elections.

It will be the second time the Netherlands has held such a referendum. Last year, voters rejected Dutch ratification of a European Union pact with Ukraine.

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The government signed off on the pact anyway after gaining written assurances that were intended to address voters' fears, including that it could lead to EU membership for Ukraine.