Bulgarian MPs Propose Relaxing Restrictions for Voters Abroad

Politics » DOMESTIC | May 26, 2016, Thursday // 16:11| Views: | Comments: 0
Bulgaria: Bulgarian MPs Propose Relaxing Restrictions for Voters Abroad The plenary chamber of the Bulgarian National Assembly. Photo: BGNES

Bulgarian MPs from parties participating in the ruling coalition or supporting it have proposed relaxing some of the restrictions for voters abroad which have been adopted with the latest amendments to the Electoral Code.

The MPs tabled the latest draft amendments to the Electoral Code concerning the voting abroad on Thursday.

This development comes after parliament had recently adopted controversial amendments which restricted the right of Bulgarians abroad to vote.

MPs had initially proposed to make it impossible to open polling stations outside embassies and consulates.

After popular discontent and protests of Bulgarians abroad, they relaxed somewhat the restrictions, allowing for polling stations to be opened outside diplomatic missions under certain conditions.

Nevertheless, the amendments were still seen as restrictive and were vetoed by President Rosen Plevneliev, but his veto was overriden by parliament.

The newly proposed amendments allow for up to 35 polling stations to be opened in each country outside Bulgaria.

Bulgarians living abroad will have to submit sixty requests in order for a polling station to be opened outside an embassy or consulate.

The latest proposed amendments do not make distinction between EU and non-EU countries, which is the case in the recently adopted changes.

Expectations are that the proposed changes will be discussed in the relevant parliamentary committees next week and will enter the plenary chamber in the second week of June.

Another change foresees settlements with more than 350 residents to be able to elect a mayor. At present, only settlements with more than 400 residents can elect a mayor.

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Tags: Bulgaria, voting, parliament, Rosen Plevneliev, veto
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