By: Nina Žoher /Nova24tv
For more than a year now, we have been witnessing the process of renaming of Titova Street in Radenci. “But such a name, which is, among other things, a symbol of mass crimes against humanity, also affects the human dignity of (even the still living) victims and their close descendants, as well as anyone with a sense of morality and responsibility to fellow human beings,” the Constitutional Court Judge Dr Klemen Jaklič wrote after the Constitutional Court decided to temporarily suspend the decree on renaming the Titova Street in Radenci until the final decision of the court.
Among other things, the initiator of the constitutional review also accused the municipality of adopting the decree illegally for the second time now – because it was adopted after a shortened procedure. Therefore, the initiators proposed that the Constitutional Court suspend the execution of the decree on changes and amendments to the decree on the naming of streets, squares and settlements in the municipality of Radenci until the final decision. According to the initiators, the implementation of the decree would create “unnecessary costs for both the residents of the street, as well as the municipality, due to the cost of changing” the personal and other documents, replacing house numbers and the streets signs – and the work for all of this costs something too.
With seven votes in favour (Dr Rajko Knez, Dr Matej Accetto, Dr Rok Čeferin, Dr Dunja Jadek Pensa, Dr Špelca Mežnar, Dr Marijan Pavčnik and Dr Katja Šugman Stubbs) and two against, the Constitutional Court decided that until the final decision of the court, it will temporarily suspend the decree on renaming the Titova Street in Radenci to Cesta Osamosvojitve Slovenije (Street of Slovenia’s Independence) until the final decision of the court is reached. The Constitutional Court Judges that voted against are Dr Klemen Jaklič and Marko Šorli, and Jaklič also wrote a separate opinion on the case.
According to Jaklič, the initiators, who are challenging the validity of the procedure with which the municipal authorities changed the name of the street from Titova Street to Street of Slovenia’s Independence, have no legal interest in the matter. “I have already made the same judgement in the case no. U-I-2/21, U-I-3/21,” he pointed out, adding that the initiators are not even trying to hide, but are instead even explicitly making it known, that they would like to see the decree on the renaming of this street to be annulled so that it could continue to be called Titova Street.
A street name like this is not in accordance with the constitution of a free democratic society
However, such a name, which is also a symbol of mass crimes against humanity, affects the human dignity of (even the still living) victims and their close descendants, as well as anyone with at least a minimal sense of morality and responsibility to fellow human beings. “A street name like this, with such content, is not in accordance with the constitution of a free democratic society. Therefore, even those who, with the open intention of preserving such a name (which is an unconstitutional intention) are challenging the validity of the procedure for the changing of the name before the Constitutional Court, have no legal interest in this aim of theirs, according to the constitution of a democratic society.”
The Constitutional Court has returned the name Titova Street three times already
For more than a year now, we have been witnessing the ordeal surrounding the renaming of Titova Street in Radenci.
Let us remind you of what has happened so far. The street was first renamed by the municipal council on the 28th of May last year, which was then followed by an initiative to call a referendum, which then never took place. The next time the road was renamed, it was by amending the decree on the 29th of December last year, but the Radenci Civil Initiative and four municipal councillors filed a request with the Constitutional Court to assess the constitutionality of the amendment to the decree on the renaming of the road.
In their request, the proponents accused the mayor and the Municipality of Radenci of several violations of applicable regulations, but the Constitutional Court ruled only on the violation of the third paragraph of Article 46 of the Local Self-Government Act, which deals with the 15-day deadline for submitting a request for a subsequent referendum and did not rule on any of the other allegations. The Constitutional Court annulled the decree at the time because mayor Leljak acted incorrectly when he promulgated the decree before the expiry of the 15-day deadline for filing a request for a referendum on the decree. Leljak announced the re-adoption of the decree on renaming the road, which the municipal council did at this session on the 29th of June, the Slovenian Press Agency reports. The Constitutional Court has now temporarily suspended the re-adopted decree.
“Dear mayors, the Constitutional Court wants you to keep the decisions that the municipal councillors make in your drawers for a minimum of 15 days. After 15 days, you can finally publish them, and they only enter into force 15 days after the publication. There are no abbreviated, simple and urgent procedures. They are turning municipalities into complicated bureaucratic processes. And all of this solely because of Tito,” said the mayor of Radenci, Roman Leljak, and added, regarding the return of the name Titova Street to Radenci for the third time: “I am done with this. The Constitutional Court is basing its decisions on procedural matters instead of making it clear, once and for all: Tito – yes or no! This really does not make any sense.”