How much will the referendums that Janša “dismissed” cost us?

SDS reportedly managed to collect the necessary signatures for referendums on laws on broadcasting, long-term care and the government. How much will it cost us?

Bobo

It would be most economical to organize referendums at the same time as presidential elections.

The SDS began collecting signatures for the referendum on September 1, and the deadline by which they had to collect 40,000 signatures for each of these referendums was October 5, but it was already a day earlier Franc Fartekpresident of the municipal committee of SDS Gornja Radgona, posted on Facebook: “It worked. There are enough signed forms for three referendums! And tomorrow for the reserve.”

Official confirmation should follow today. If it is true that the SDS managed to collect the necessary signatures for all three legislative referendums, they now have a week to submit the signatures to the National Assembly, which then has another week to call a referendum by decree.

Why the referendum?

What are the voters actually going to decide on in the referendums? It is about the rejection of three new laws that have already been approved: the one that delays the implementation of the law on long-term care for one year, the law on RTV Slovenia, with which the government wants to reorganize the management, management and control of RTVS, and on amendments to the law on the government, which would among others, brought about the introduction of three new ministries (for a solidary future, higher education, science and innovation, and for climate and energy).

To summarize really briefly: the law on long-term care was adopted by the previous government, but the current government, following an urgent procedure, approved an amendment delaying its implementation, because it allegedly has many shortcomings, vagueness and is unworkable in practice, while the SDS believes that it’s just a “waste of money and a waste of precious time”.

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40,000 signatures must be collected to call for a referendum.

They also do not agree with the proposed amendment to the law on RTV Slovenia, which would, for example, introduce a unified RTV council and a new way of appointing it, which would prevent political control of the medium or remove party politics from it. The SDS estimates that the coalition wants to consider this amendment to the law according to an urgent procedure “just to quickly head RTV, i.e. change the director, programming and supervisory board”.

They are also opposed to the changes to the law on the government, because according to them, the increase of the ministries should bring “three times the additional costs and increased number of employees”the law should also, in their opinion “cancelled all those good solutions for the people that were introduced by the previous government”. The coalition says that the three new ministries will take care of the coexistence of generations and climate change.

When is the referendum?

The date when the referendums will be held is adopted by the National Assembly with a two-thirds majority of the deputies present, while they must take into account that no less than 30 days and no more than a year must elapse from the date of the referendum call to the day of voting.

SDS advocates that all three possible referendums be held simultaneously with one of the deadlines for either the upcoming local or presidential elections. Namely, they estimate that this would be the cheapest for the country, and in the coalition they are more inclined to carry out everything in one “referendum day”, which would not coincide with the date of any of the elections.

For now, the most likely dates are November 13, along with a possible second round of presidential elections, November 20, along with local elections, or November 27, when there are no elections. President of the DZ Urška Klakočar Zupančič already at the beginning of collecting signatures, she said that she was in favor of holding the referendum “as economically as possible”.

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The initiator of the referendums is Janševa’s SDS.

What will the costs be?

According to estimates by the National Electoral Commission (DVK), an independently conducted referendum would cost around 4.8 million euros (the cost of the last referendum on the amendment to the Water Act in July 2021 was approximately 4.2 million euros, but it should be taken into account that since then they have significantly increased in particular the cost of postal services and also some other costs). In the case of holding three referendums at the same time, the costs would increase slightly compared to the holding of one referendum due to the compensation of the members and secretaries of the electoral commissions and the printing of more ballots.

“If the referendum were held at the same time as the presidential election, the savings would be considerable (the total cost of holding the election and the referendum would be approximately 5.7 million euros in this case), with this difference mostly coming from the cost of electoral committees, as well as certain other costs, for example for postal services (sending notices to voters), renting polling stations and the like,” confirms DVK.

Simultaneously with local elections

However, if the referendum were held at the same time as the local elections, this would not reduce the costs of the referendum much. “The costs of national elections are covered by the budget of the Republic of Slovenia, while local elections are covered by municipal budgets. National elections (which include presidential elections and referendums) are conducted by the DVK, election commissions of electoral units and district election commissions, while municipal election commissions are responsible for conducting local elections. If the referendum were held at the same time as the local elections, this would not have a significant impact on the costs, since in this case we would have double electoral committees, because for national elections, the district electoral commissions must take into account the order of priority of the political parties according to the composition of the DZ when appointing the electoral committees , and municipal election commissions the composition of municipal councils,” they explain.

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The cost of national elections is covered by the budget of the Republic of Slovenia, while the implementation of local elections is covered by municipal budgets.

“Polling areas for national elections are determined by district election commissions, and for local elections by municipal election commissions, and it must be emphasized that the areas of polling stations are not and in some cases cannot be identical (e.g. Ljubljana). The MNZ should prepare separate voter lists for the referendum and specifically for local elections with all the specifics, for this reason it would also be necessary to provide double notices to voters, informing them of the election day and at which polling station they are entered in the voter list, as well as for two types of public announcements by candidates. At the same time, it is also worth noting that many polling stations would not allow the presence of two election committees, and it is also not possible to unify the implementation of public procurement necessary for the conduct of elections (printing and distribution of election materials, provision of information support for the conduct of elections, postal services, and so on). . In the case of holding local elections and a referendum on the same day, minor savings could only be made in the payment of compensation for the use of polling stations in those municipalities where the polling stations for both elections could be the same.”


Source: Svet24.si by novice.svet24.si.

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