Lockup of Vote Counters Should Be Blamed on Bulgaria's Election Officials - Deputy PM

Politics » DOMESTIC | October 30, 2015, Friday // 10:48
Bulgaria: Lockup of Vote Counters Should Be Blamed on Bulgaria's Election Officials - Deputy PM Photo by BGNES

Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister Tomislav Donchev has extended his apology to hundreds of people who were locked up in a Sofia sports hall for more than 50 hours after local elections and a referendum held Sunday.

In his words, it was the municipal election authorities who had ordered police to keep the people in the hall, but the Central Election Commission (CIK) also had its share of responsibility.

What was the cause for flawed ballot processing in Sofia's capital Bulgaria is still unclear, with the CIK, municipal commissions and their subdivisions, and the government having their own versions as to what happened.

At the Arena Armeec sports hall in Sofia, about a dozen people were taken to hospital between Sunday evening and Tuesday, with several of them having fainted as they didn't stand the pressure of being locked up amid unprecedented delays in the delivery of ballots and huge queues of people from district election commissions waiting to submit their protocols.

The incident is "a shame that should never again be repeated", Donchev said.

He stressed that the government, since Monday morning, had been demanding on election officials to be allowed to go out. The government had also called then for the resignation of the CIK over poor organization of the vote count, but the latter maintained it had been down to the municipal commission to manage the process more efficiently.

Donchev, however, blamed electoral law (adopted under the previous, socialist-dominated administration), poor organization in Sofia and "wrong decisions taken before the elections).

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Tags: Tomislav Donchev, Central Electoral Commission, CIK, local elections, Arena Armeec
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