Kiosk petition fails to collect enough signatures for a referendum

A petition to hold a referendum on the future of the kiosk at Oberursel’s main station has failed to collect the required number of signatures.  The kiosk had closed in the middle of December and was removed early in the new year.

The “Bürgerbegehren” required 10% of those living in the town and eligible to vote  to sign with their full name, address and date of birth.  The deadline ran out yesterday: Thursday, 17th January, 2013, when one of the organisers of the petition, Angela Stohrer, submitted the 189 pages to the town hall.  It was 8 weeks to the day since the town council had rejected a motion by Ingmar Schlegel of “die Linke” to stop the kiosk’s closure.

However, many of those who had downloaded the petition from the internet and printed it off had often not filled out all of the columns on the form, especially the date of birth, making their voting status difficult to confirm for the town hall and thus invalid.

In the end 2,223 signatures were declared to be on the petition by the town’s electoral office this morning, just over a thousand short of the 3,298 required, so that further validation of the petition will not be carried out.

This result will now be passed on to the town’s committees with the recommendation to declare the request for a referendum “not permissible”.

It remains to be seen whether the town’s council do just that with a simple vote, or whether they take notice of the number of people supporting the referendum which – if they are all valid – make up 6.7% of the town’s voters, and hold a new debate on the subject.

At the last sitting of the town council in 2012 the leader of the Green party, Christina Herr, had promised that her party would deal with the petition, even if it did not have the required number of signatories.  Will the other parties now be prepared to do the same?


About Graham Tappenden

Graham Tappenden is a British ex-pat who first came to Oberursel in 1993 and returned with his family to live there in 2003. He has been writing for since 2006. When not writing blog posts or freelancing for the Oberurseler Woche he works as a self-employed IT consultant solving computer problems and designing websites. In 2016 he gained German citizenship.

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