Bulgaria Voting Referendum 'Could Be Held at EU Elections'

Politics | March 22, 2014, Saturday // 15:59
Bulgaria: Bulgaria Voting Referendum 'Could Be Held at EU Elections' Ivilina Aleksieva, the new head of Bulgaria's Central Electoral Committee, Photo by BGNES

EU elections would not be an obstacle to holding a voting referendum on May 25, new electoral commission chief has said.

Ivilina Aleksieva, who was appointed chair of Bulgaria's Central Electoral Commission, made these comments in an interview for Bulgarian DARIK Radio.

She said the commission was prepared to organize both events so they could be held at the same time.

Aleksieva, who was the ruling party's candidate for the office, made clear no violation of electoral legislation would be allowed during the upcoming campaign.

She was firm that "serious control" would be exerted over the printing of ballot papers, in which both the Central Electoral Committee and observers would take part.

Aleksieva was possibly referring to last year's claims that the Kostinbrod printing house had prepared 350 000 fake ballots to influence May 12 general election results in favour of GERB. Even though the claim, made a day ahead of the elections, was refuted by Bulgaria's judiciary, it raised doubts of an electoral fraud that GERB was allegedly on the brink of committing.

Signatures in a petition calling for a referendum on Bulgarian voting rules is currently being thoroughly checked after it was handed to Parliament on March 10.

Parliament has a three-month deadline to call a referendum ending June 10, which gives it the right to set a date well after European Elections.

In January, President Rosen Plevneliev proposed that Bulgarians have their say on three issues, namely the introduction of a majority election, compulsory voting, and e-voting.

Under Bulgarian law, the poll is to mandatorily be held in 500 000 signatures are proved to be authentic.

Rosen Plevneliev's proposal for referendum was announced some weeks ahead of the vote on a new Election Code and thus 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.

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Tags: Ivilina Aleksieva, Central Electoral Commission, Referendum, Rosen Plevneliev, EU elections

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