Bulgaria's Nuclear Energy Referendum Will Be Invalid - Poll
The referendum on the future of nuclear energy in Bulgaria will end up being invalid, according to a recent poll.
The poll has been conducted by the Alfa Research Agency.
The results have shown that anywhere between 1.6 million and 2.1 million people will cast a ballot in the referendum scheduled for Sunday, January 27. This is far below the threshold of 4 million needed to validate the vote.
However, if Alfa Research's forecast for the voter turnout materializes, the question of the referendum will have to be returned to the Parliament for debates since the law postulates that in case the turnout is 20% of the one at the last general election.
People who say they will definitely vote are mostly supporters of the opposition left-wing Bulgarian Socialist Party, BSP, and of plans to build a second Nuclear Power Plant in the Danube town of Belene, the poll further shows.
On January 27, 2013, Bulgarians will have to answer in the referendum the following question: "Should nuclear energy be developed in Bulgaria through the construction of new nuclear power units?"
According to the poll, 62% of those who will vote will say "yes" on the question while 32% will say no.
The referendum was sponsored by the Bulgarian Socialist Party, which gathered a petition of more than the 0.5 million legally needed signatures.
Originally, Belene NPP had to be built by Russian state company Atomstroyexport, but the Bulgarian cabinet froze the project in the early spring of 2012 due to perceived lack of economic effectiveness.
According to another Alfa Research poll, the margin between BSP and the ruling Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria party, GERB, is getting narrower with 21% of the polled saying they will vote for GERB in the summer general election and 19% for BSP.
The other two political formations that will score seats in the next Parliament are the right-wing Bulgaria for Citizens of former EU Commissioner, Meglena Kuneva, and the ethnic Turkish Movement for Rights and Freedoms, DPS.
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