Bulgaria President Puts Forward Voting Rules Referendum Again

Politics » DOMESTIC | March 19, 2015, Thursday // 10:31
Bulgaria: Bulgaria President Puts Forward Voting Rules Referendum Again President Plevneliev making his address to Parliament on March 19, 2015. Photo by BGNES

Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev has told Parliament he will use his constitutional right to trigger a national referendum on election rules.

"There is a consensus that it has to be held alongside local elections."

In his address following the month of political consultations with all parties in the legislature, Plevneliev has asserted that "direct democracy will involve to a bigger extent the nation's will" and could "boost the multi-party system".

Though the President stopped short of naming the question that will be tabled at a prospective national poll, his earlier comments suggest he might be referring to the introduction of three elements: a majority system, compulsory voting, and e-voting.

Earlier this year, he reiterated he was ready to relaunch the referendum on the abovementioned issues that he sought to initiate in the beginning of 2014. His proposal was echoed by civic activists including former caretaker PM Georgi Bliznashki (then not yet in office).

A petition was submitted to Parliament with more than half a million signatures, but part of them were declared void and the previous legislation used this argument to deny organizing a poll.

Local elections are scheduled for this autumn, most likely in end-October or early in November.

Speaking in Parliament, the head of state warned that there had been no two consecutive voting procedures held under the same electoral law in Bulgaria's recent history and that had to be amended.

Highlights of the President's address are available here.

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Tags: Rosen Plevneliev, Bulgaria, Referendum, voting rules
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