Bulgarian TV Show to Submit Petition for Holding Six-Point Referendum

Politics » DOMESTIC | February 8, 2016, Monday // 10:58
Bulgaria: Bulgarian TV Show to Submit Petition for Holding Six-Point Referendum The ballot paper used for voting in the referendum on remote electronic voting in October last year. Photo: BGNES

One of the most popular TV shows in Bulgaria, Slavi's Show (named after its host Slavi Trifonov), will submit a petition with more than 400 000 signatures on the holding of a six-point referendum.

The petition is expected to be tabled to parliament on Monday.

The proposed questions concern mostly the election rules and cover some of the issues, which had been proposed for inclusion in a referendum by Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev last year.

Initially, the referendum proposed by Plevneliev foresaw the inclusion of three questions – on the introduction of majority electoral system, compulsory voting and remote electronic voting.

However the parliament rejected two of the proposed points and left only the question on the introduction of remote electronic voting, with the referendum held together with the local elections in October last year.

Half of the questions proposed by Slavi's Show cover the same three issues, namely the introduction of majority electoral system, compulsory voting and remote electronic voting.

The other three points propose: cutting the number of MPs in half from 240 to 120; cutting the state subsidy allocated to parties and coalitions to BGN 1 for each vote won at the last general elections; majoritarian election of the directors of the regional and district departments of the interior ministry.

Initiating the petition in November, the show had three months to collect 400 000 signatures, which is the required threshold for making the holding of a referendum compulsory.

During the same period, there was a parallel petition for a referendum proposed by businessman Veselin Mareshki.

Mareshki, who owns a chain of pharmacies bearing his surname, recently entered the business with petrol stations.

He proposes the holding of a five-point referendum, with one of the questions being the same as that proposed by Slavi's Show, namely cutting the number of MPs in half.

The businessman also proposes revoking the immunity from criminal prosecution of MPs, ending the state subsidy granted to parties and coalitions and introduction of regulations on the fuel market, which will guarantee lower prices at petrol stations.

His last proposal is lifting a restriction, which currently does not allow a person to open more than four pharmacies in the country in order to make the market more competitive and decrease prices at pharmacies.

Last week, Mareshki tabled the petition to parliament saying that he had collected more than 400 000 signatures.

The next step is for authorities to examine the validity of the signatures, which will determine whether the holding of the proposed referendums will become compulsory.

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Tags: Bulgaria, Referendum, petition, Slavi's Show, Slavi Trifonov, Veselin Mareshki, Rosen Plevneliev, compulsory voting, electronic voting, state subsidy, immunity, majority electoral system

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