Bulgarian Deputy PM: There Were Attempts at Elections Sabotage
Bulgarian Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Rumyana Bachvarova announced that there was an intended sabotage of local elections held last Sunday.
In an interview for the Bulgarian National Television, Bachvarova stated that two days before the elections, her ministry had initiated specialized operations to prevent exchange of money for votes.
“We have issued 2000 warning protocols, which is twice the number of 2011,” said Bachvarova.
Friday and Saturday, the Ministry is embarking on an “analogical operation covering the whole territory of the country” said Bachvarova.
The local elections this year were accompanied by hundreds of signals for infringements of the voting process. Vote buying became a central reason for arrests. In one case brought by the Prosecutor’s Office, a citizen accused of buying votes was sentenced to 11 months in prison.
Earlier, the Bulgarian Socialist Party's chair Mihail Mikov alleged most political parties were involved in vote buying to the tune of BGN 30 M.
The cyber attack that hit the Central Electoral Commission on election day, has been another issue that needs further investigation. According to Bachvarova, this was a definite attempt to break down the electoral process.
On October, 25, 2015, on the day of the local elections, the website of the Central Electoral Commission was hacked. Citing Chinese news agency, Xinhua, Bulgarian media announced that the website was attacked with more than 530 000 entries for 10 hours.
This attack didn’t disrupt the elections because the Bulgarian company which administers the Central Electoral Commission’s website managed to counter it.
“At the moment, we are clarifying the facts but nothing can be underestimated or refuted,” said Bachvarova.
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