STA, 27 July 2020 - The Constitutional Court has stayed implementation of a municipal decree amending the naming of streets, squares and villages in the Radenci municipality until there is a final say on a referendum proposal launched by locals who oppose renaming a road that bears the name of the former Yugoslavia's communist leader Tito.
In late May, the local council of the spa town of Radenci in the north-east decided on the initiative of Radenci Mayor Roman Leljak that Titova Road shall be renamed to Slovenian Independence Road.
Some locals do not agree with the decision, saying that the name Titova Road reflects a historical fact and that the renaming efforts are but a provocation attempt by the mayor.
Leljak responded to the decision on Facebook, saying that the "Administrative Court is also deciding on the procedure and, to me personally, it does not make sense that the Constitutional Court has skipped the Administrative Court."
Is this a matter of distrust in the Administrative Court or an agreement between the courts, which would be a grave violation of the principle of legality", he added.
Leljak said he would probably propose to the municipal council that the decree renaming Titova Road be annulled, and that a referendum be held in which the name of the road would be decided on.
He believes the referendum could be held in the spring of 2021.
The mayor also noted that the procedure was causing the municipality much costs with legal fees, and that it could take a year or more. "The cost of referendum would be considerably smaller than the cost of litigation."
The Constitutional Court has determined that staying implementation of the decree could not lead to major repercussions, taking into account the fact that the name Titova Road has been in use since 1979. The road was named after former communist leader Josip Broz Tito (1892-1980).
In the event the court did not stay implementation and the decree was to be later annulled due to it being unconstitutional, the locals as well as the municipality could suffer from unnecessary expenses. Moreover, the potential ramifications of implementing the decree would surpass the potential repercussions of its staying, said the court.
The decision was passed on 1 July in a 7:2 vote.
In 2011, Slovenia's top court ruled unanimously that the 2009 decision of the Ljubljana city council to name a street in the capital after Tito was unconstitutional given that Tito's name symbolised the former totalitarian regime and that naming a street after him could objectively been seen as a recognition for this regime.