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Slovenia’s main opposition calls for referendum on Palestinian State recognition

Slovenia's main opposition calls for referendum on Palestinian State recognition
Jun 4, 2024 3:19 PM

The main opposition party in Slovenia has taken action by filing a motion on Monday, calling for a referendum on the government’s decision to recognize a Palestinian state. This move could potentially delay the formal recognition vote in parliament.

Last week, Slovenia’s government endorsed a motion to recognize a Palestinian state and forwarded the proposal to parliament for final approval. Originally scheduled for Tuesday, the parliament might now postpone the decision for up to 30 days.

Slovenia’s decision follows recent moves by Spain, Norway and Ireland to recognize a Palestinian state, a move that drew condemnation from Israel.

SDS advocates for public input

The right-wing Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS) has requested a consultative referendum on the recognition bid, asserting that citizens should have a say on such a significant matter with potential repercussions for Slovenia.

SDS party leader Janez Jansa criticized the liberal government’s decision, accusing it of supporting the “terrorist organization Hamas.”

While Prime Minister Robert Golob’s ruling coalition enjoys a comfortable majority in Slovenia’s 90-member assembly, lawmakers must approve the recognition of the Palestinian state for the decision to become official.

It is anticipated that parliament will reject the SDS motion for a consultative referendum. The SDS, led by Jansa, is Slovenia’s largest opposition party. The timing of the referendum motion coincides closely with the upcoming European parliamentary elections scheduled for June 9.

Slovenia initiated the recognition process in early May, with a decision to wait until the situation in the ongoing Israeli-Hamas conflict in Gaza improved. Golob accelerated the process in response to Israel’s recent attacks on Rafah, resulting in over 1 million Palestinians being displaced.

Over 140 countries worldwide recognize a Palestinian state, constituting over two-thirds of the United Nations.

The conflict between Israel and Hamas escalated following an Oct. 7 attack by Hamas militants, resulting in casualties and hostages. Israel’s subsequent air and ground operations in Gaza have reportedly led to significant Palestinian casualties, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry, which does not distinguish between combatants and civilians.

Last Updated:  Jun 5, 2024 5:48 PM