Bulgarian Rightists: National Statistical Institute Should Count Ballots at Early Elections
The National Statistical Institute (NSI) should count the ballots at the early elections on May 12 instead of state-owned IT company Information Services, according to Ivan Kostov, leader of the Democrats for Strong Bulgaria (DSB) party.
Ivan Kostov and Martin Dimitrov, Co-Chairs of the right-wing Blue Coalition, met Thursday with Bulgaria's caretaker Prime Minister Marin Raykov to discuss the forthcoming parliamentary elections.
Kostov and Dimitrov came up with a list of proposals for guaranteeing the fairness of the vote.
The proposal for the removal of Information Services from the competition for counting the ballots at the early elections came after the director of the state-owned company, Prof. Mihail Konstantinov, declared that if the alternative to the center-right GERB government was a tripartite coalition, he would "do everything possible to prevent this from happening."
The statement caused the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), the ethnic Turkish Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS), and right-wing Democrats for Strong Bulgaria (DSB) to demand the removal of the IT firm from the election process.
The official decision of the caretaker Prime Minister on the matter is to be announced on March 26, the deadline for filing bids with the CEC for the tender for selecting a company to count the votes at the May 12 elections.
According to reports of dnevnik.bg, there are two scenarios - Information Services will be removed from the competition and its director will keep his job, or the company will take part in the tender without Konstantinov on its Board of Directors.
The other proposals of the right-wing formation include making the ballot counting software publicly available on the website of the CEC to allow parallel counting and publishing scanned versions of election protocols online.
The issue of vote-buying was also discussed at the meeting and Kostov and Dimitrov claimed that heads of district police directorates had to hold meetings with local representatives of all parties from the 41st National Assembly to discuss the organization of the elections.
Marin Raykov commented that vote-buying would also be countered through the Civil Board for Fair Elections at the prime minister's office, adding that the panel would include Bulgarian and international observers.
He noted that he had sent letters to all political parties represented in the 41st National Assembly to propose lists of NGOs to be included in the board.
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