Bulgarian President Meets with OSCE Election Observers
Fair elections are the most effective guarantor of democracy, and as a society and institutions we must work to increase confidence in this instrument of the rule of law. This was stated by Bulgaria’s President Rumen Radev, who received representatives of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in the Presidency on March 23.
The representatives of the organization are part of an international mission to observe the general elections in Bulgaria on April 4.
The head of state noted that Bulgaria faces the challenge of holding elections for the first time in an epidemic situation and recalled that it was in this regard that he held a series of consultations with the institutions responsible for the election process, including health authorities, parliamentary and extra-parliamentary political formations, civil society organizations and representatives of the Bulgarian communities abroad.
The purpose of the meetings is to take measures to ensure the health and voting rights of citizens, as well as fairness, transparency and accessibility of the electoral process to encourage members of the public to go and vote. The legitimacy of each election consists in the mass vote of the citizens, and the public's trust in the next parliament and government is the biggest capital for them, Rumen Radev stressed.
A number of issues related to the organization and conduct of the parliamentary elections were discussed during the meeting. Among the highlights of the talks were the conditions created for the quarantined citizens to be able to exercise their constitutional right to vote; the organization of sufficient mobile polling stations; the resulting difficulties in processing the results of simultaneous voting with machines and paper ballots; not allowing a high percentage of invalid ballots, which was reported in previous elections in the country; the debate on the introduction of video surveillance in the counting of ballots and the drawing up of election protocols, as well as the potential for the introduction of remote voting for Bulgarian citizens abroad.
The Head of the Observation Mission, Corien Jonker, stressed that this is the ninth OSCE election observation mission in Bulgaria, which will be guided in its work not by comparisons with previous elections in the country or with elections in other countries, but by standards and criteria of the international organization in this field./bnt
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