Signatures collected for law redefining rape

Ljubljana – Collection of 5,000 voter signatures in support of an only-yes-means-yes rape law got under way on Wednesday amid controversy over accessibility of one of the administrative offices in Ljubljana where verified signatures can be submitted.

The law to redefine rape and sexual violence to use affirmative consent standard is being proposed by the NGO Inštitut 8. Marec, which has 60 days to collect the needed signatures to put the bill forward to the National Assembly.

Signatures in support of the proposal can be submitted in person at an administrative unit or using an electronic signature via e-Administration.

The NGO complained that voters were unable to fill in the form at one of the Ljubljana administrative unit’s offices without prior appointment this morning despite assurances by the authorities that this would be possible without appointment during office hours.

The NGO argued that such practice was tantamount to obstruction of basic democratic procedures constitutional rights, urging the relevant authorities to allow unhindered submission of voter signatures.

The Public Administration Ministry and the Ljubljana administrative unit denied the allegation of obstruction to signature registering, explaining that due to coronavirus infections a special counter for signature registration at the Linhartova unit could not be secured so voters can submit their signatures by prior appointment or wait for a free time slot.

A special window for signature registration is available in the Tobačna unit.

Provided enough signatures are collected, the National Assembly will read the proposal following the same procedure as other bills.