Verification of Bulgarian Voting Referendum Petition to Take Months
The validity of signatures gathered for a referendum on voting rules in Bulgaria could be confirmed only after EU elections.
In an interview for the Bulgarian National Television, Yanaki Stoilov, an MP from the ruling Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP), said that the petition, which reportedly has already collected the necessary 500 000 signatories has not yet reached Parliament.
Stoilov also expressed doubts regarding the petition's authenticity, as the locations where the referendum campaign is being led coincide with the headquarters of municipal administrations - something that, in his opinion, could have resulted in an "ex officio" gathering of signatures.
Some of the municipalities are run by the ruling BSP's main opposition, the center-right GERB party.
Stoilov also repeated his party's stance on a possible referendum on taxation policy, the idea of which is still being discussed.
The referendum petition Stoilov was referring to calls for a national poll on three key voting questions: the introduction of a majority election, compulsory voting, and e-voting.
It was proposed in January by Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev, amidst preparation of the new Election Code that was already under way in committees within Bulgarian Parliament.
With his move, President Plevneliev divided the opinion in Bulgaria, with some seeing it as a veto on the new legislation and others as part of the infighting between the government and the head of state.
Regardless of his intentions, a referendum is to take place if half a million citizens have made the demand, according to Bulgarian legislation.
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