Slovenians vote in favor of regionalization

LJUBLJANA -- Slovenians supported the government’s proposal to divide the country into 13 provinces, the National Electoral Commission said.

The referendum took place yesterday.

Voters in 12 out of 13 proposed provinces voted in favor of the proposal, except for the residents in central Slovenia, who voted against a province that would spread from the north of the country, through its central part, towards the south.

The turnout was extremely low – barely 10.9 percent of the registered voters.

The turnout was the lowest in Slovenia's largest cities – Ljubljana and Maribor.

Results of the referendum are not obligatory, since a decision to form the provinces will be adopted by the Slovenian parliament.

The official results will be declared in August.

The Slovenian government proposed the division into 13 provinces because it wanted to reduce the differences between the country’s regions, and bearing in mind Slovenia is the only EU country without this type of territorial division.

However, the opposition said that the move to set up 13 provinces is "too much" for the size of the country. The main opponent of this proposal was the Ljubljana mayor, Zoran Janković, who even called on citizens to boycott the vote.