Path cleared for immediate promulgation of stimulus laws
The move is in line with amendments to the act governing referenda that were passed in a cross-partisan vote on 7 April and effectively prevent referendums on emergency measures adopted for reasons of defence and security, and to mitigate consequences of natural disasters.
This means that such laws no longer have to be on hold for seven days before they may be promulgated by the president of the republic, a window in which legislation is normally open to potential referendum challenges.
The second economic stimulus package, amendments to the first stimulus package and a law on emergency measures in the judiciary will thus probably be promulgated later today.
While the amendments to the referendum act were passed in a cross-partisan vote, today the centre-left opposition staged a walkout.
The parties said the laws should not be shielded from referenda since they also include legislative provisions that have nothing to do with emergency measures.
They said Speaker Igor Zorčič had acted in breach of the rules of procedure proceeding with the voting despite the opposition's procedural remarks, resulting in the majority of the opposition MPs not having been able to complete the first vote.
Criticism has also been levelled at the absence of debate today. "They've taken away the people's right to referendum without the National Assembly even debating that," Left leader Luka Mesec said.
Arguing that this is not the first time the speaker has violated the rules of procedure, the opposition has urged Zorčič to resign due to what Social Democrat (SD) lawmaker Jani Prednik said was "disregard for the democratic process".
The upper chamber of parliament also has veto power but it voted earlier today against vetoing the legislation.