Bulgaria's Central Electoral Commission Becomes Standing Body
Bulgarian MPs have approved a proposal to make the Central Electoral Commission (CEC) a standing body in the new Election Code.
The proposal to make the CEC a standing body and its management elected by Parliament was given the green light on Thursday, the second day of debates on the draft Election Code.
MPs voted to extend Thursday's sitting on the draft Election Code by 7 pm, according to reports of Darik radio.
Under the new Election Code, there will be no opportunity to elect a Parliament Speaker, a Deputy Parliament Speaker and a Secretary of Parliament nominated by the same parliamentary group or by MPs from the same parliamentary group.
The remaining CEC members will be appointed by the President at the proposal of political parties and coalitions represented in Parliament and the European Parliament, preserving the ratio of the ratio of seats held by the different parties in the Bulgarian Parliament.
Parties and coalitions which have representatives in the European Parliament but are not represented in the Bulgarian Parliament will be able to nominate only one CEC member.
Center-right party GERB (Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria), however, noted that the adoption of these provisions would abolish the balance and principles which had been in force at the establishment of the CEC over the past years, demanding the preservation of the procedure of appointing the CEC after consultations of the President with the parties or coalitions represented in Parliament and EP.
The CEC will be a standing body which will be assisted by an administration.
The CEC will consist of 19 members, all of whom will be appointed through a public procedure for five-year terms in office.
CEC members will be required to have a master's degree and professional experience of no less than seven years.
It is recommendable that they hold degrees in law, computer sciences, mathematics, public relations and information sciences, political sciences or sociology.
The CEC Chair will be required to be a be a certified legal expert with no less than ten years of experience.
The initial requirements for years of service were lowered at the proposal of socialist MP Maya Manolova, chair of the committee tasked with drafting a new Election Code, in line with a request of GERB.
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