Bulgaria’s Top Court Scraps Half of Questions in Referendum Proposed by Slavi's Show
Bulgaria’s Constitutional Court on Thursday declared as unconstitutional three of the six questions in a referendum proposed by popular TV show host Slavi Trifonov, to be held alongsisde the presidential elections in the autumn.
The proposal had been backed by 572,650 valid signatures, above the threshold of 400,000 required to hold a referendum initiated by citizens.
In May, President Rosen Plevneliev referred to the top court three of the questions. They are related to a proposed introduction of remote electronic voting, a cut in the number of MPs in half to 120, and election of regional police chiefs in a popular majority vote.
The other three questions featured in the referendum proposal are related to the introduction of compulsory voting, the introduction of majority electoral system and cutting the state subsidy paid to political parties and coalitions to BGN 1 for each valid vote won by them in elections. These questions will be included in the referendum ballot paper.
The holding of the referendum proposed by Slavi Trifonov and the team of his show was approved by Parliament in May.
On Thursday, the Constututional Court ruled that only a Grand National Assembly can decide to change the number of members of Parliament and thus change the form of government.
The court has also ruled that a referendum on the introduction of remote and electronic voting was held in Bulgaria last year and this question cannot be put to the vote in a new referendum earlier than two years after the previous one.
Support among voters for the introduction of electronic voting exceeded 50% last year but the turnout at the referendum was lower that the turnout at the last parliamentary elections held in 2014, which automatically invalidated the outcome of that referendum.
The Constitutional Court also ruled that the proposed election of senior police officers by popular vote will require an election campaign which will open the way for interference of interested political formations and economic groups into the process.
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