Bulgarians Launch Petition in Support of Voting Rules Referendum
A number of Bulgarian public figures, intellectuals and activists have formed a civil initiative committee for a referendum petition.
The petition is in support of the recent call of President Rosen Plevneliev for a referendum on voting rules.
The petition requires 500 000 signatures to be collected within a 3-month deadline.
One of the founders, Law Prof Georgi Bliznashki, a disgruntled socialist and a staunch supporter of the antigovernment protests and the first student blockade of Sofia University, told Nova TV Thursday that the committee will work with a number of political parties that support the referendum, namely the Greens, the right-wing Reformist Bloc and the formerly-ruling center-right Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB).
Bliznashki added that he believed there is enough civil energy to speedily collect the required signatures.
After the meeting between the initiative committee and GERB later in the day, GERB leader and former Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, announced in the Parliament that his formation would apply all possible effort to collect 500 000 signatures in support of the referendum.
"I have made a commitment to them and if they ask our help after meeting the other parties that want a referendum, we will help in all possible ways, including with funds and technology," said he.
Last week, in an address to the nation, Plevneliev proposed a referendum on introducing mandatory vote, online voting and the implementation of a mixed voting system to have 32 majority-elected Members of the Parliament (not through party ballots).
The ruling partners – the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) and the liberal predominantly ethnic Turkish Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) – stated they would not support such referendum.
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