SDS to be collecting signatures for three referenda in September

Ljubljana – The opposition Democrats (SDS) will be able to start collecting the 4,000 signatures needed to call a referendum on changes to the act on long-term care on 1 September, deputy Speaker Mejra Hot decided on Wednesday. Simultaneously, the party will also be collecting 4,000 signature each for two other referenda.

The changes to the long-term care act postpone by a year the taking-effect of the act passed under the previous government, led by SDS head Janez Janša. Apart from opposing the delay, the party also objected to the changes being fast-tracked through parliament.

The new government argues that it would be too soon and harmful for the elderly care system if the act took effect on 1 January 2023. The changes would prolong the preparatory period, and bring addition funds for employees’ salaries to prevent higher bills for elderly home residents in the autumn.

The SDS will have until 5 October to collect the needed signatures. Usually, the 4,000 signatures are collected almost immediately after a referendum motion is deemed viable with the proponents proving they have the support of at least 2,500 voters.

However, this is not the case during the summer and signature collection campaign is being pushed to September.

The SDS has filed nearly 4,600 signatures to prove support of the motion, but the vetting commission found that only 2,508 signatories had the right to vote and stated accurate personal information.

Prime Minister Robert Golob has said that the SDS is abusing the referendum legislation to hinder the government’s work. The former ruling party has also initiated referendum proceedings to challenges changes to the legislation on the public broadcaster RTV Slovenija and the act reshaping the government cabinet.