Pahor on changing the electoral legislation: Every effort must be made to pass the proposal

In his response to the electoral law bill submitted to the National Assembly, Slovenian president Borut Pahor stated that every effort should be made to pass the law. He is concerned, however, that there is less than 60 MEPs signatures supporting the law – the majority required to pass it. If the bill fails, there might be no more time for new attempts.

A group of 59 MPs – members of the LMŠ, SD, SMC, SAB, NSi, SNS and The Left political parties, with the first signed Brane Golubović of LMŠ – submitted a bill to the National Assembly on Friday regarding electoral law changes. The proposal envisages the abolition of electoral districts and the introduction of a relative priority vote.

President Borut Pahor stated that he would be very pleased if the necessary 60 or more MEPs voted for the bill. “We would this way enforce the Constitutional Court’s decision and improve the electoral system so that the voter’s decision would have more weight in choosing MEPs,” he is convinced.

“However, I am obliged to express my concern that the bill was submitted on Friday to go through the parliamentary procedure without a sufficient number of signatures, which is contrary to the agreement of the parliamentary parties’ chairmen and the heads of parliamentary groups of 12 July 2019. In the event that the proposal does not get the necessary support, the question will be how to proceed. It may happen that we will witness the submission of new proposals that will not be adopted, and the time for enforcement of the Constitutional Court’s decision will expire,” he warned.

According to him, “under these circumstances, it is necessary to do everything in the power of MEPs who support the bill for the proposal to be adopted”.

“Early elections would be legitimate”

Pahor, who coordinated the harmonization on the electoral legislation changes, announced on Friday when addressing a Consular Corps in Brdo pri Kranju that he would continue his efforts to enforce the decision of the Constitutional Court. But he also stressed that early elections would be constitutional, legal and legitimate if they took place this year. The end of the year is a deadline for enforcing the decision of the Constitutional Court, which ordered the legislator to amend the provisions on constituencies and electoral districts due to unconstitutionality.

Early elections are possible after the resignation of Marjan Šarec as Prime Minister, ending his Government’s term of office on Wednesday and only dealing with current business now.

The proposed electoral legislative changes are not supported by SDS party deputies, around which a new government coalition is trying to form. There are also no signatures of DeSUS party MPs, who will discuss a matter again after the party’s leadership changed at the party’s congress.

Public Administration Minister Rudi Medved, dealing with current business since the fall of the government, said on Friday that by submitting a bill, a group of MEPs had taken a hugely important step towards the implementation of the Constitutional Court’s decision. The ministry, which has been involved in the bill design, believes that this proposal is the best way to implement the Constitutional Court’s decision. Another option would be to transform the constituencies, which require a simple majority, but many believe that a sufficient consensus on this matter would be even harder to reach.

Source: STA