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President of the Republic casts his vote in the referendum on amendments to the Waters Act

Ljubljana, 11. 7. 2021 | press release

The President of the Republic, Borut Pahor, today cast his vote in the referendum on amendments to the Waters Act.

In his statement he said that his decision to vote against the amendments was based on consultations with the Standing Committee for Climate Policy of the President of the Republic of Slovenia. The Standing Committee for Climate Policy of the President of the Republic has dealt with the issue of today's referendum three times over the past few months.

"I did not take this decision immediately. I would like to say that even prior to taking the decision on the amendments we called on the National Assembly to consider some recommendations put forward by the public and in particular to make the debate on this important topic inclusive. I think that the fact that the debate was not inclusive enough and too brief for such an important and sensitive issue as water was also germane to my final decision on how to vote", said President Pahor.

A debate held at the Presidential Palace to which also representatives of expert circles were invited, both those in favour of the amendments to the act and those against, revealed, according to the President, a basic problem.

President of the Republic casts his vote in the referendum on amendments to the Waters Act
Photo: UPRS

"And this problem is that the provisions, such as they are, simply allow for too many different interpretations. And, therefore, they also undermine the intentions of the act. This was what finally prevailed and made me vote against the act on this occasion", explained President Pahor, adding that there are also solutions in the act that are very good.

To the question of whether the referendum was also a vote of confidence in the Government, he responded that some people also had that motive today but he assured that it did not guide him in today's vote. "Which means that I have neither voted for the Government nor against it", stressed the President.

In general, the President has observed that in recent years there has been a significant change in the people's way of thinking of how they should protect their environment, in particular water, and more than ever before have they started to pay attention to legislative changes related to environmental protection. President Pahor commented that this may be the reason that the turnout in today's referendum could be higher than for any other referendum held in July.

President of the Republic casts his vote in the referendum on amendments to the Waters Act
Photo: STA