Bulgarian President Calls for Referendum on Voting Rules
Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev has called for a nationwide referendum that may bring about major changer to the country’s election rules.
In a televised address to the nation late on Wednesday, Plevneliev proposed a referendum in which Bulgarians will have their say on whether they want to elect some of their MPs directly rather than from party lists, voting made obligatory and electronic voting allowed.
Plevneliev noted that electronic voting would allow the vast number of Bulgarians living abroad to take part in elections.
If approved by Parliament, the referendum would take place along with the European elections in May.
“I call upon lawmakers to make a decision in favor of carrying out a nationwide vote on these questions, which I believe would help stabilize the institutions in Bulgaria and increase the public trust,” the President said in his speech.
“Let the voice of the people be heard, and not bought…Democracy depends on each and every one of us,” he declared.
Bulgaria’s fragile Socialist-led government, which has so far survived despite eight months of relentless anti-graft protests, appears unlikely to back Plevneliev’s proposal, according to analysts.
The only party in Parliament that has officially declared support for the proposed referendum is the center-right opposition GERB of former PM Boyko Borisov.
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