Mandatory Voting Idea 'Cynical', Will Harm DPS - Lyutvi Mestan

Politics » DOMESTIC | June 12, 2014, Thursday // 11:38| Views: 1202 | Comments: 2
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Bulgaria: Mandatory Voting Idea 'Cynical', Will Harm DPS - Lyutvi Mestan Lyutvi Mestan warned against compulsory voting and hinted its introduction would be a move aimed at hurting the DPS. Photo by BGNES

Co-ruling Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS)'s leader Lyutvi Mestan described compulsory voting as a "cynical" idea that would bring harm to Bulgarian politics.

"Mandatory voting will hurt the DPS. It also hurt the political system and will not treat, but only deepen its defects," private channel bTV quoted Mestan as saying before entering Parliament Thursday.

He argued lawmakers are "most likely" to accept the proposal, which was made in a referendum petition as early as January but drew huge attention only last week after it was "revived" by Sergey Stanishev, head of the ruling Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP).

Mestan explained the adoption of mandatory voting was a probable development because "a very precious agreement among other political players" was in sight, but assured parties "their calculations are very flawed".

In his view, the argument that a government would be more legitimate if everyone casts a ballot is a "cynical" one, as voter turnout and political representation are more issues of the electorate's trust and should prompt reforms within the parties themselves.

Even though a number of parties have backed the idea of mandatory voting (with some politicians and experts arguing it would reduce what they call DPS's "excessive" influence), Stanishev's statement in favour of this measure has rather sparked controversy among lawmakers from across the political spectrum.

So far the only draft bill on mandatory voting officially introduced into Parliament has been put forward by independent (albeit Bulgaria Without Censorship-affiliated) MP Rumen Yonchev.

Other parties, like the opposition GERB, have backed the idea, but some of its members believe it should be put on a referendum, a move long resisted by the BSP.

The socialist party itself is divided over such a step, but lawmakers are nevertheless set to eventually discuss a referendum petition handed to Parliament in March which would invite citizens to have their say on the majority system, compulsory voting, and e-voting.

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Tags: Lyutvi Mestan, Sergey Stanishev, DPS, BSP, GERB, Referendum, mandatory voting, compulsory voting
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» To the forumComments (2)
#2
TheRealBehemoth - 13 Jun 2014 // 13:14:20

This discussion about the obligatory voting or the reduction of the threshold to 3% or even less is just a distraction from the real problems of the Bulgarian voting system.

With only two small changes, Bulgaria could have a much better parliament and much less influence of foreign influence agents in Bulgarian politics.

First, introduction of a voting ban for Bulgarian passport holders that reside more than 5 years abroad. ("Such a rule is part of the election laws in most countries)

Second, introduction of a ban on foreign direct or indirect funding of political parties. A Party that acts against this rule will be banned from participating in elections.

A parliament elected according to these principles would reflect the will of the Bulgarian voter in a much better way. Foreign influence agents that dominate the Bulgarian political scene to almost 100% would lose considerably in influence.

But since we are in Bulgaria it is not going to happen. Too many Bulgarians are happy to be the bootlickers and a#swipers of some guy in Moscow (or elsewhere).

#1
TheRealBehemoth - 13 Jun 2014 // 13:08:17

from the real problems of the Bulgarian voting system.

With only two small changes, Bulgaria could have a much better parliament and much less influence of foreign influence agents in Bulgarian politics.

First, introduction of a voting ban for Bulgarian passport holders that reside more than 5 years abroad. ("Such a rule is part of the election laws in most countries)