European Elections 2014

Bulgarian VP Displeased with President's Referendum Initiative

Politics » DOMESTIC | January 30, 2014, Thursday // 14:32
Bulgaria: Bulgarian VP Displeased with President's Referendum Initiative Bulgarian VP Margarita Popova. Photo by BGNES

Bulgaria's Vice-President Margarita Popova has expressed disagreement with a national referendum proposal by President Rosen Plevneliev.

Plevneliev announced his intention to table to parliament a referendum initiative to ask Bulgarian citizens whether they want part of MPs to be elected with majority voting, as well as whether to implement compulsory voting and electronic voting.

Popova was most critical of the proposal for compulsory voting, saying it goes against principles enshrined in Bulgaria's Constitution.

"We will have to revise not only the election code, but also the constitution if this is approved," said the Vice-President at a briefing Thursday.

"I believe that Bulgarian citizens should be stimulated to be more active in voting, but using sensible programs, rather than restrictive measures," added she.

Popova further stated that although she sees the justification behind some of the motives behind President Plevneliev's move, such as citizens' overall dissatisfaction with the workings of the Bulgarian political system, she also believes that the timing chosen is poor.

"There is no consensus on those questions in Bulgarian society," said Popova and suggested that the time before May European Elections 2014 might be too little for a meaningful debate.

Former ruling party GERB said that if parliament rejects the president's proposal, the party is ready to start a citizens' petition for the referendum.

This is not the first time that Bulgaria's Vice-President Margarita Popova has taken a position critical with respect to moves of President Rosen Plevneliev.

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Tags: Rosen Plevneliev, Margarita Popova, Referendum, elections, European elections 2014, GERB
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