Bulgarian MPs Set on Stopping Voter Tourism

Politics » DOMESTIC | June 17, 2015, Wednesday // 15:52
Bulgaria: Bulgarian MPs Set on Stopping Voter Tourism BSP's MP Maya Manolova Photo: BGNES

Bulgarian MPs voted in favor of the proposed legislative amendment aiming to counteract voter tourism. The proposal was made by the right movement Reformatorski Bloc and by the socialists from BSP.

Bulgaria’s ruling GERB party announced its support for the proposal to annul fictitious residence registrations made with the purpose of increasing voter base ahead of this year’s local elections in early June.

The amendments concern the Law of civil registration and will be aiming at preventing citizens from ''massive migrating'' to smaller towns and municipalities. Additionally, the new law will attempt to counteract the practice of tens and even hundreds of citizens being registered in the same address in order for them to be then able to turn the results on the upcoming local elections in Bulgaria.

''This is about the mass migration of people into smaller municipalities, from the center of the country to its periphery,'' stated Maya Manolova, an MP of he socialist BSP party.

She noted that it had been a common practice for 20, 30 or even 100 voters to be registered in half-dismantled buildings and farms. Manolova explained that this is the way for certain candidate-mayors to shift the local vote, ensuring that they will have the majority of the votes in their favor. In her opinion, the mass migration is done with one purpose only - to overturn the results of the local vote. She added that this is the reason why the majority of people choose not to vote.

The law amendment prescribes that all address registrations that have been executed in violation to the rules should be annulled and the people who committed the violations should be sanctioned. Additionally, inspections will be made to establish if registrations are done properly. 

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Tags: Bulgaria, BSP, Reformatorski Bloc, GERB, voting, local, elections, rules, amendment, candidate, mayors, mass migration, voter tourism, Maya Manolova
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