Election Rules: Partners in Bulgaria’s Government to Discuss Presidential Veto

Politics » DOMESTIC | May 17, 2016, Tuesday // 11:23
Bulgaria: Election Rules: Partners in Bulgaria’s Government to Discuss Presidential Veto

The legal affairs committee in Bulgaria’s parliament will discuss on Tuesday the veto imposed by President Rosen Plevneliev on changes to the Electoral Code concerning the opening of polling stations abroad.

Any decision of the committee needs a simple majority of the members of the committee present at the meeting to pass.

A meeting of representatives of the two parties in the minority coalition government, GERB and the Reformist Bloc, and the nationalist Patriotic Front who support the cabinet in Parliament, will be held on Tuesday afternoon to discuss whether to reject the President’s veto on Wednesday.

A decision to reject the veto needs to be backed by at least 121 of the 240 members of the National Assembly to pass. According to Plevneliev, setting caps on the number of polling stations abroad will hamper voting by Bulgarian citizens residing in other countries.

GERB and the Reformist Bloc control among themselves 106 seats in the chamber. The Patriotic Front, who have tied continued support for the cabinet to rejection of the President’s veto, hold 18 seats.

The Patriotic Front argues that the restrictions to the opening of polling stations abroad imposed by the adopted changes to the Electoral Code aim to reduce the relative weight in national elections of votes of Bulgarian citizens permanently residing in Turkey.

Valeri Simeonov, leader of the Patriotic Front faction in Parliament, says the caps on opening polling stations abroad will help curb the leverage of vote from Turkey, where tens of thousands of ballots are cast for the predominantly ethnic Turk party Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) in Bulgarian general elections.

DPS, with 30 seats in parliament, is the second-largest opposition force in the chamber after the Bulgarian Socialist Party.

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Tags: Bulgaria, Plevneliev, president, elections, veto, polling stations, abroad
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