Vili Kovačič demands an investigation of the alleged “import of foreign voters” before the 2018 elections in Ljubljana, where Janković defeated Logar

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As the Administrative and Constitutional Court have “found themselves in a vicious circle,” Citizen K. Vili Kovačič, has now reported the suspected electoral fraud of importing voters for the last local elections in Ljubljana to the Police. The official statistics did not detect any irregularities in this specific election process, as the number of eligible voters remains at a similar level. However, statistics show a high trend of immigration of foreigners, especially from the countries of the former Yugoslavia, while more and more Slovenes are emigrating. Kovačič claims that tens of thousands of foreigners registered to vote, in order to gain the right just before the elections, and during that time, a strike also took place at the Ljubljana Administrative Unit. The Administrative Unit rejects the rumours and says that immigrants could not have had the right to vote in any case, as it is necessary to register in the electoral register at least fifteen days before the elections.

Vili Kovačič, also known as Citizen K, is the president of the movement called We, the taxpayers are not giving up, and the initiator of the referendum on the second railway track between Divača and Koper. He addressed a request to the General Police Administration, to investigate the suspected criminal offenses in connection with the extraordinary number of reports of temporary residence in Ljubljana before the local elections in 2018. Foreigners who are EU citizens, who temporarily register in a municipality, and third-country nationals who become permanent residents in a municipality, have the right to vote in the local elections.

Employees of the Ljubljana Administrative Unit, specifically those of the Department of the Interior, complained about the increased workload back then, and in the last week before the elections, they also went on strike, which led to the resignation of the head of the Ljubljana Administrative Unit, Lovro Lončar. Due to all of the above, Kovačič is convinced that in this particular case, there was an “import of voters,” so he asked the police to investigate how many people were newly registered, where they registered, and further, how many of them had moved after a certain period of time after the election was over. He submitted the request to the Administrative and Constitutional Court in December but says that they are avoiding making a decision.

Kovačič claims that as many as 35,000 voters were imported
According to Kovačič, 35,000 imported voters had received a fee of 75 euros for casting their votes. Similar anomalies supposedly also occurred in Maribor and Koper. Therefore, it is necessary to check whether dozens or even over a hundred people had registered at the same address, which would indicate a major anomaly. If Kovačič’s words are true, this could mean a big turnaround in the elections, as 35,000 fewer votes for Zoran Janković in the then-elections would mean the victory of Anže Logar. And let us remind you that, at that time, Jankovič received 61,236 votes, which was 31,357 more than Logar.

However, the data of the National Electoral Commission shows otherwise, as the number of eligible voters in the records of the National Electoral Commission does not show an increased number of eligible voters. Allegations of the immigration of foreigners are not confirmed by official data on foreigners with permanent or temporary residence in Slovenia. This number has been constantly and strongly increasing for the last two years, but there was no change in the pattern of migrations before the elections. The possibility of a fraud involving migrations, in the local elections in Ljubljana, was already mentioned by some media outlets in 2018, but back then, the Ljubljana Administrative Unit denied it. If they wanted to achieve the desired effect by moving from abroad, they could have only done it with the immigration of citizens from the European Union, as for third-country nationals, it is much more difficult to obtain permanent residence, Domovina writes.

The number of eligible voters has remained similar, but the fact remains that while foreigners are coming to live in Slovenia, more and more Slovenians are leaving their homeland. Between 2012 and 2017, over 8,000 Slovenians emigrated from Slovenia annually, and in 2017, the number was even higher – almost 10,000 Slovenians emigrated. In two years, the number of foreigners with a residence permit in Slovenia has increased by 29 percent (44,000 people), most of whom are immigrants from third countries, mostly the countries of the former Yugoslavia. As the employees at the Administrative Unit added, the strike began only a week before the elections, and for an entry in the electoral register, the residence must be arranged at least fifteen days before the elections, unless someone can arrange it differently. However, the problems in the Administrative Unit that led to the strike are permanent and are not related only to the events from the time around the local elections.

Sara Kovač/Domovina