Bulgarian MPs Propose Imposition of Sanctions for Not Voting in Elections
A bill prepared by Bulgarian MPs proposes the imposition of BGN 50 fine for people not voting in elections and depriving them of social benefits for a period of three months.
The bill has been devised and adopted at first reading at the proposal of one of the parties supporting the ruling coalition – the Patriotic Front (PF).
One of the co-chairpersons of PF, Valeri Simeonov, said that compulsory voting will provide the government with greater legitimacy and make people more responsible towards the electoral process.
Simeonov pointed to several countries with compulsory voting which are successfully applying different sets of sanctions for not voting in elections.
According to him, compulsory voting is not a constitutional duty, but an administrative one, he said in an interview for private NOVA TV on Monday.
In his opinion, voting should not be viewed only as a right, but also as a duty of every citizen towards the state.
Simeonov added that compulsory voting can be introduced without amendments to the constitution.
As regards, the presence of so-called “dead souls” in the electoral register, the bill foresees the introduction of active registration which is planned to take place a month before the elections.
The draft law is also also proposing voting in countries not members of the EU to take place solely in embassies and consulates.
Another proposals foresee the ban of gifts during the electoral campaign and special arrangements for disabled people voting in elections.
The bill also proposes the setting up of headquarters between police and prosecution officials for their swift reaction to cases of electoral fraud.
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