Bulgaria's Parliament Starts Work on New Election Code
Bulgaria's parliament ad-hoc committee tasked with drafting the new Election Code will hold its first meeting on Monday.
The committee was set up in the middle of December, when the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) submitted to Parliament a draft Election Code.
Back then Deputy Parliament Speaker and socialist MP Maya Manolova explained that the draft Election Code of BSP included provisions on introducing machine voting, on the method of distributing mandates, on electing professional election administration, etc.
She said that the new election legislation included many of the proposals put forth by civic organizations.
Manolova, who chairs the ad-hoc parliamentary committee tasked with drafting a new Election Code, informed that the project envisaged preference vote, the threshold being 7%, and a single integral ballot paper.
She pointed out that the election papers will be printed by the Bulgarian National Bank under the oversight of the Finance Ministry.
The socialist MP suggested that the aim was to gradually introduce active voter registration and tidy up voter rolls.
She assured that the new election rules guaranteed equal treatment of the candidates during the media campaign and transparent election administration.
Manolova also said that the draft Election Code of BSP required observers and media representatives to be present at each and every stage of the election process.
She claimed that the voting procedure for Bulgarians abroad would be simplified, as well as the requirements for the registration of independent candidates, adding that the new rules paved the way for fair elections, at the same time erecting barriers to fraud and manipulation.
Manolova told journalists that the residency requirement, as well as the day of reflection, had been preserved.
She commented that mandatory voting could only be introduced after changes to the Constitution, adding that the step was hardly likely to prove the easy solution to the problems, and that many countries were giving up the practice.
Manolova specified that under this scenario, Bulgaria's new Election Code could be adopted in end-January or early February 2014.
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