In a triple referendum held Sunday, the citizens of Slovenia chose to uphold three laws initially put to a vote by the Democrats Party (SDS). The legislation at stake included: removing the political influence from Slovenian state broadcaster RTV Slovenija; allowing the creation of new ministries; and postponing a care system for pensioners. After this referendum, none of this legislation is set to be repealed.The referendum saw a 42 percent turnout of voters, more than double what is needed for the referendum to be legally valid. 63 percent of voters backed the law that depoliticized RTV Slovenija, which was introduced by the current ruling coalition shortly after the April general election. The law aims to reduce political influence over the television broadcaster by giving civil society institutions a supervisory role. The results also saw 56 percent supporting the creation of new ministries, and 62 percent supporting the delay of the care system for pensioners.While they are not currently in power, the referendum was put forward by the SDS in an attempt to repeal the respective laws, which they labelled as “damaging.” SDS President Janez Jansa lost the general election in April to Prime Minister Robert Golob. Jansa commented on the referendum result via his social media, saying “with a 99% media monopoly, what can [the ruling coalition] mislead them with next time.” The President of the National Assembly Urska Klakocar Zupancic also commented, telling The Slovenia Times that “the people have voted for a free and healthy Slovenia.”Overall, with 99.9 percent of ballots counted, 63 percent voted for, and 37 percent voted against. Official statistics are set to be released in late January 2023.
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