Bulgarian Righists to Organize Smoking Referendum

Politics » DOMESTIC | January 8, 2013, Tuesday // 15:34| Views: 2166 | Comments: 0
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Bulgaria: Bulgarian Righists to Organize Smoking Referendum UDF's Rumen Hristov (L), Emil Kabaivanov (C) and Boris Markov (R). Photo by BGNES

Minor Bulgarian rightist Union of Democratic Forces party has announced it will start a petition for a nationwide referendum on the recently imposed full smoking ban in the country.

"People are concerned about this issue, the issue is of their competence and impacts their everyday lives," said UDF's Boris Markov, who has been appointed as the party's coordinator for the petition.

At the press event Tuesday, chair Emil Kabaivanov stressed that with the move the Union is not backing neither the lifting nor the retaining of the ban, and rather just intends to get people heard.

According to Bulgarian legislation, a petition needs to gather 0.5 M signatures to start a referendum procedure.

UDF representatives said that they hope that the petition will get more than that number, and a referendum can be scheduled after general elections in the summer.

"Before elections, public space will be flooded by politicized messages, and we want this issue to be solved outside of all partisanship," stated Kabaivanov.

The rightist leader further dismissed the upcoming January 27 referendum on nuclear energy as failing to tackle the issue in the right way.

"This is only a political theater set to mobilize the voters of the Bulgarian Socialist Party ahead of general elctions," commented Kabaivanov.

Over the summer, the Socialists gathered some 0.7 M signatures in a referendum intended to support the frozen project for a second NPP in Bulgaria, the Belene NPP.

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Tags: smoking, Referendum, nuclear energy, Belene NPP, UDF, Union of Democratic Forces, Emil Kabaivanov, Boris Markov
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