Bulgarian President Hits back at MPs over Rejection of Veto on Election Rules

Politics » DOMESTIC | May 18, 2016, Wednesday // 21:02
Bulgaria: Bulgarian President Hits back at MPs over Rejection of Veto on Election Rules

Bulgaria’s President Rosen Plevneliev will refer to the Constitutional Court the Parliament’s “hugely regrettable” decision to override his veto on changes to election rules that could hamper voting by Bulgarian citizens residing abroad.

By rejecting the veto the lawmakers “bet on a policy of confrontation even at the expense of the Constitution and basic democratic rights of citizens,” Plevneliev said in a statement on Wednesday after Parliament refused to rescind recently adopted controversial changes to the Electoral Code.

The changes must be revoked as they curb the opening of polling stations abroad and will infringe on the voting rights of Bulgarian expats, according to Plevneliev.

The Parliament’s decision “is yet another case, in which Bulgarian lawmakers put the interests of their parties’ above the constitutional rights of Bulgarian citizens,” Plevneliev said.

The change to election rules restricting the opening of polling stations abroad has drawn fire from Bulgarian expats in Europe and the United States.

GERB party, the dominant partner in the minority coalition government led by Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, backed the changes proposed by nationalist Patriotic Front, citing concerns about the stability of the cabinet.

GERB and the junior partner in the coalition cabinet, the Reformist Bloc, hold among themselves 106 of the 240 seats in Parliament. The Patriotic Front, which controls 18 seats, has no ministers in the cabinet but supports it in Parliament under an agreement reached after early parliamentary elections in November 2014.

“The head of state has repeatedly stated how important it is for each political force in Parliament to work toward stability in the current geopolitical environment. Yet, he is deeply convinced that this goal cannot be achieved by ignoring the Constitution,” Plevneliev said.

For this reason, Plevneliev said, he planned to refer Wednesday’s decision of Parliament to the Constitutional Court “in the hope that democracy in Bulgaria has the institutional mechanisms to guarantee the rights of citizens, wherever they are in the world.”


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Tags: electoral code, election rules, parliament, election rules, veto, president, Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev. Photo by BGNES Bulgaria

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