Bulgarian Ad-Hoc Parliamentary Committee OKs Draft Election Code
The ad-hoc parliamentary committee tasked with preparing a new Election Code adopted the project submitted by the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP).
The draft Election Code was submitted by socialist MP Maya Manolova, Chair of the ad-hoc committee, in mid-December, following four months of discussion, according to reports of dnevnik.bg.
The Election Code project of the socialists was approved Friday with the votes of the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), the liberal Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) and nationalist party Ataka, while center-right party GERB (Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria) abstained from the vote.
On Wednesday, the project is to be reviewed by Parliament at a plenary session.
A set of Election Code amendments proposed by GERB in June 2013 was voted down with 3 votes in favor, 3 against, and as many abstained.
GERB requested lowering the threshold for entering parliament from 4% to 3% and introducing a mixed-type system with 31 majority and 209 single-seat constituencies.
In a Friday statement, Manolova yet again noted that the need for a new Election Code had been highlighted by the protests in February 2013, which toppled the GERB government.
She also cited the recommendations of the Venice Commission in favor of a new structure of the Election Code which would avoid the redundant repetitions in some provisions.
Manolova noted that the adoption of the legal amendments proposed by GERB would result in chaos unless numerous related provisions were also amended.
DPS criticized the Election Code version submitted by the socialist party, demanding the total abolition of the residence requirements, speaking in favor of pre-election agitation in the mother tongue, and advocating a cautious approach to the update of electoral rolls.
MPs from nationalist party Ataka defended the new Election Code project, saying that they would insist on the introduction of compulsory voting.
They also proposed the installation of video cameras in voting cabins.
Meanwhile, GERB representatives argued that the project of BSP did not solve problems which it was supposed to remedy, adding that a major part of it repeated the existing Election Code.
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