Bulgaria's Greens Approach Human Rights Court on Nuclear Referendum
Bulgaria's Greens Party is preparing to file a case with the European Human Rights Court in Strasbourg against the rule of a local Court banning them from campaigning in the nuclear energy referendum.
The Greens were recently informed by the Supreme Court that they are not allowed to campaign against plans to build a second Nuclear Power Plant, NPP, in the Danube town of Belene.
The claim is against the Central Electoral Committee, CEK.
The referendum, scheduled for January 27, 2013, asks Bulgarian voters whether they would like their country to develop nuclear energy by creating new nuclear units. The Greens, in partnership with eco activists, wanted to lead a "NO" campaign.
They insist they have received unfair treatment compared to the proponents of the NPP and were given only 3 days, in violation of the law which provides 4 weeks, to collect the 7 000 signatures required for their registration.
The Greens stress the "YES" campaign has been registered without being required to submit any signatures.
Rebecca Harms - the Co-President of the GREENS/EFA in the European Parliament in commenting on the case has said that the conditions for the referendum were unfair and has advised the Bulgarian environmentalists to approach the Strasbourg Court. She has pledged to actively support the "NO" anti-nuclear campaign in the country and the establishment of sustainable energy policy.
Harms will host a press conference and several public events in Bulgaria between January 23 and 25 in order to inform the public about the risks of an extension of nuclear power use.
Originally, Belene NPP had to be built by Russian state company Atomstroyexport, but the Bulgarian cabinet froze the project in early spring due to perceived lack of economic effectiveness.
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