The Slovenia Times

Lawmakers Unlikely to Abolish National Council


The proposal for constitutional changes necessary to abolish the National Council is supported by the ruling Democrats (SDS) and the coalition Citizens' List (DL), Pensioners' Party (DeSUS) and New Slovenia (NSi). Their votes, however, fall short of the required two-thirds majority, which means the proposal is likely to be scrapped.

The proposal was filed by a group of MPs headed by Speaker Gregor Virant, who stressed at the outset of day two of the emergency session that the upper chamber of parliament was unnecessary. Its abolition would simplify the legislative process and help save public funds, he added.

During the debate in parliament, proponents argued that the scrapping of the upper chamber would not bring less democracy. NSi deputy group leader Matej Tonin said the council was a remnant of "political horse trading" after Slovenia's independence in the 1990s.

The council fails to measure up to the challenges of the time and it is "regrettable" that the council will continue "vegetate further" due to the lack of agreement in parliament, Tonin said.

Opposition Social Democrats (SD) deputy Majda Potrata meanwhile pointed out that the public was excluded from debate on the constitutional change. She stressed that government used arguments such as rationalisation, simplification and cost-cutting to push through parliament changes that lack societal consensus.

The SD believes the upper chamber of parliament should be transformed into a body representing local interests.

Lawmakers will vote on changes to the Constitution in the evening. If the proposal is turned down, a similar proposal cannot be discussed by the parliament in this term.


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