Bulgarian Parliament Appoints New Election Commission Deputy
Bulgaria's Central Electoral Commission is to have a new Deputy Chair, short after its top members were appointed by Parliament.
Margariza Zlatareva, who was the center-right opposition GERB's candidate, has been declared deputy chief by Bulgarian lawmakers with the approval of MPs from GERB and ethnic Turkish Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS).
Ruling Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) and ultra-nationalist Ataka did not take part in the voting, website Dariknews.bg has reported.
Last week Parliament was a scene of heated debate as to whether the Central Electoral Commission's deputy chairperson should be GERB's candidate.
Discussions arose among lawmakers after both DPS and BSP suggested that DPS had been deprived of one member by President Rosen Plevneliev, who is in charge of appointing the election watchdog's top members.
They argued that President Rosen Plevneliev had appointed one more GERB-backed nominee at the Commission than stipulated by Bulgarian law and thus acted in detriment to ruling parties and in favour of formerly ruling GERB, which was the party that led him to the presidency at 2011's elections.
Plevleniev had decided to appoint 6 GERB and 5 BSP members, instead of 5 for each of the two biggest parties, meaning DPS would have only one seat instead of two, which they claim "under the law".
At a meeting in the city of Kurdzhali, however, leaders of DPS and GERB managed to overcome differences and DPS's leaver Lyutvi Mestan said he would not insist on the deputy chair's seat for their party.
Experts have suggested that quotas for the Central Electoral Commission's leadership are not key to winning elections, hinting that discussions among parliamentary parties are fueled by their will to have more control at the Commission for their own purposes.
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