Golob calls serial referendum initiatives abuse of law

Ljubljana – Prime Minister Robert Golob has responded to the third referendum initiative brought by the biggest opposition party by arguing referendum legislation is being abused to block the executive and legislative branches of power.

“Such tactics can have a counterproductive effect, especially in the run-up to elections,” Golob said on Friday, a day after the Democrats (SDS) filed their third referendum initiative.

He said the referenda would be held on the same day, regardless of how many more were to be called, because they would not let one party cause excessive costs to the state through its ill-judged policies.

“As a country we’ll unfortunately spend four million euros on the little games played by the SDS,” he said.

However, the referendum day would not coincide with the presidential and local election scheduled for later this year as the SDS has proposed.

“If referenda are held on election day, this doesn’t make the costs any smaller, because the ballot count and organising the vote are completely separate from local or presidential elections, and the cost is more or less the same in any case,” he said.

The date of the referendum day is to be set once it becomes clear which referendum initiatives have garnered the sufficient number of voter signatures.

Golob said this should streamline decision-making, and give people an opportunity to tell those blocking the work of parliament what they thought of them once again. “I don’t doubt for a second what people will tell them,” he added.

The SDS needs to collect 40,000 voter signatures in support of its initiative to call a referendum. It has so far filed for referenda on the new government act, RTV Slovenija act and the act that delays the implementation of long-term care act by a year.