Compulsory Voting Draft Clears Legal Affairs Commission in Bulgarian Parliament
The Legal Affairs Commission in Bulgaria’s Parliament has approved a change to the Election Code that makes voting compulsory, public radio broadcaster BNR reported on Thursday.
MPs from opposition Socialist Party and predominantly ethnic Turk Movement for Rights and Freedoms disagreed with the proposed change to the Election Code.
The two parties, currently in opposition to the centre-right coalition government of GERB and the Reformist Bloc, have a steady hard-core electoral base whose relative weight will decrease if total voter turnout increased as a result of making voting compulsory.
A proposal by the nationalist Patriotic Front, one of the parties supporting the government, to impose a fine of BGN 50 (EUR 25), or cancel the payment of social benefits for three months in case of non-voting, has been dropped from the version of the draft approved by the committee on Thursday.
The change to the Election Code is expected to be put to debate in Parliament by the end of April, according to BNR.
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