Bulgaria Gov't Coalition Partner Backs Majority Voting System

Politics » DOMESTIC | June 22, 2015, Monday // 09:32
Bulgaria: Bulgaria Gov't Coalition Partner Backs Majority Voting System Bulgarian President (2002-2012) Georgi Parvanov. Photo by BGNES

ABV leader Georgi Parvanov has said his party would support the proposal of an opposition force under which Bulgarians citizens should have a say on the introduction of a majority system.

Last week the ethnic Turk-dominated Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) called on politicians to consider rewording a question about majority voting in a long-waited national referendum on election rules due this autumn. The DPS believes citizens should be asked whether a 100% of Bulgarian lawmakers should be elected through a majority system.

Months ahead of the referendum, the Alternative for Bulgarian Revival will also back compulsory voting to neutralize vote-buying, a "disaster for Bulgarian politics," Parvanov, who heads the ABV, a left-wing party with a minister in the government, was quoted by the Bulgarian News Agency (BTA) as saying.

Parvanov reproached his successor, President Rosen Plevneliev, for not willing to introduce a more precise question to his proposals.

The incumbent head of state, who triggered the referendum himself this year after an Initiative Committee failed to do so in 2014, wants Bulgarians to vote on the introduction of a majority system, compulsory voting, and e-voting.

Plevneliev, however, has so far failed to offer a more precise interpretation on the question about majority voting as the current draft of the question asks Bulgarians if they agree that "part" of MPs should be elected using that system.

In Parvanov's words, a mixed, 50-50% (semi-proportional, semi-majority) system should be put forward if the idea of full majority voting is not passed in Parliament as an adequate referendum question.

Meanwhile the DPS tried to distance itself from its own idea, adding it had made the proposal to trigger a debate which would call into question the merits of the majority system.

Bulgaria is currently electing MPs through a proportional system which multiple-member voting districts which allocates seats in constituencies proportionally to election results, unlike under the UK-style winner-takes-all method.

The referendum for its part is most likely to take place alongside local elections on October 25.

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Tags: Movement for Rights and Freedoms, Alternative for Bulgarian Revival, local elections, majority system, compulsory voting, election rules, Referendum, Plevneliev, Rosen Plevneliev, Parvanov, Georgi Parvanov, ABV, DPS
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