GERB has Announced that it will Restore the Preferential Vote

Politics » DOMESTIC | February 18, 2019, Monday // 14:24| Views: | Comments: 0
Bulgaria: GERB has Announced that it will Restore the Preferential Vote

Three days after the final adoption of the elected law amendments they have opted for, the government refused to change the rules for preferential voting and its intention to keep the current Central Electoral Commission (CEC) to hold MEPs' election despite its expiring term, reports Dnevnik. 

"GERB will restore the so-called preferential vote, because we are the only political force in Bulgaria that listens to the voice of 2.5 million voters." This was announced by the MP from the party Georgi Markov after a meeting of the party leadership, called urgently earlier today by the leader of the party Boyko Borisov. He also announced the decision of GERB to start a procedure for choosing a new CEC.

From Markov's words it was understood that there would probably be no machine vote as it was introduced with the amendments to the Code on the request of the MRF. "We go to Europe, we can not go to the euro, but introduce a machine vote that has nothing to do with Europe. The head of state said that if there was no machine vote, the vote would be manipulated, "Markov said.

In fact, there is a mechanical vote in Belgium, and electronically in Estonia. Last week, the Electoral Code was changed, according to which a machine vote had to be in all sections of the European elections in May.

The party leadership meeting was held in the absence of GERB Parliamentary Speaker Tsvetan Tsvetanov, who chaired the parliamentary vote and today is in Kosovo. Boyko Borisov explained the adoption of the texts that increased the thresholds for respecting preferences and the need to provide support to the MRF for parliamentary work in the absence of sufficient votes from the coalition partner in the ruling coalition - United Patriots. He added that now the option for new amendments will be either after a veto of the president or with new texts submitted by MPs from GERB.

"As far as the preferences are concerned - the changes have not been explained correctly yet, the preference has not just been lifted, but that is not what has been said, and so with the veto of the president he will impose - if he imposes such , to comply with it in this part, or if there is no veto, urgently to return things back to the MPs as they have been before, you see how the BSPs manage to manipulate public opinion with a lie. creates such tension in the public "the prime minister said.

According to last week's changes, preferences are counted only if the votes received for that candidate are at least as much as the voter's quota, which actually makes the preferential vote meaningless. The electoral quota is obtained when the number of voters is divided by the number of voters who have cast ballots. These are the necessary votes for the introduction of one MP. So far, parliamentary and local elections required about 7 percent of party-voted voters to vote preferentially for a deputy or municipal councilor. For European elections, the new quota is 7% of the actual votes for the list itself, which in practice is the vote for the election of one MP.

Borisov defended the deputy chairman of GERB and leader of the parliamentary group Tsvetan Tsvetanov, saying he had done the right thing.

Borisov announced that he had invited "United Patriots" to a meeting tomorrow because "if we are a ruling coalition, everyone has to go to work." He explicitly stressed that Tsvetanov had done the right thing, but now the decisions had to be corrected.

Electoral policy changes were finally adopted at a midnight meeting last week, with GERB supporting the MRF and making no sense of preference for the election of MEPs, MPs and municipal councilors. The changes were criticized by the BSP, IMRO, non-parliamentary parties and analysts, and protested. There were vetoes.

On Friday from Munich, Borisov announced he is not confused with the GERB parliamentary group, which resolves issues with the Electoral Code. On Saturday, Deputy Tsvetan Tsvetanov announced he had supported the meaninglessness of the preference in order to avoid a political crisis. He said it was his own decision that the party's MPs would support the MRF's proposal.

On Sunday, the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) announced that its MPs would not participate in parliamentary sessions until the adopted amendments were lifted. The Socialists also want to change the composition of the Central Electoral Commission, whose mandate expires in March.

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