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The Constitutional Court dismissed the petition of Vili Kovačič for an assessment of the constitutionality of the referendum. Foto: BoBo

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The Constitutional Court Dismisses the Petition about the Date of the Referendum on the Second Rail Track Act

Voting results: 7 against 2
21. July 2017 ob 19:58
Ljubljana - MMC RTV SLO

The referendum on the second rail track act will go ahead on the 24th of September, in line with the decision of the National Assembly. The Constitutional Court dismissed the petition of Vili Kovačič for an assessment of the constitutionality of the referendum on the act. With seven votes for and two against, the constitutional judges have decided that the National Assembly set the referendum date in line with constitutionally legal bases.

Five constitutional judges saw no constitutional grounds for preventing the second rail track referendum from being held on the 24th of September. Although one part of the campaign will indeed be held over summer holidays, it will only be a small part – a quarter of it. Vili Kovačič, the referendum petitioner, is appalled, because he thinks the Constitutional Court is discriminating against people who would like to take part in the campaign, but who will be on holiday.

Two constitutional judges went against the decision of the majority. Klemen Jaklič wrote in a separate opinion that the decision was not good for anyone, and not even for trust in the Constitutional Court. The judge Marko Šorli stated: ‘Not only it is important that the referendum date is set in a way which allows voters to vote freely and in great numbers, it is also important that the campaign be held without hindrance within the determined period.’

Constitutional judges dismissed Kovačič's argument that the referendum should be held together with elections, which would be prudent and would encourage greater participation. This is a vague complaint. It is not written anywhere in the Constitution that the National Assembly should ensure greater participation in a referendum and so set a referendum on the same date as an election.

Kovačič is considering taking the case the European Court of Human Rights. But for now – the referendum on the second rail track act will go ahead on the 24th September.

Jolanda Lebar, Radio Slovenija, translated by A. L.

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