Former Bulgarian MEP: Old Election Code Allows for Vote Rigging
Chetin Kazak is a former Bulgarian Member of European Parliament from the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE).
Currently, Kazak heads Bulgaria's Parliamentary Commission on Legal Affairs. He is a former MP from the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS).
Mr. Kazak spoke to Novinite.com on the topic of the draft Election Code, which has led to heated debates in parliament discussions.
Mr. Kazak, will the new Election Code be adopted before the European Parliament Elections in May?
Yes, I think we will manage, even if this means working day and night, and over the weekends. We must pass it through.
In what ways will the new Election Code differ from the previous one?
In many ways. There are a number of improvements.
Can you specify some of them?
It is better structured. It will improve the procedures for opening polling stations abroad as well as in terms of civil appeals for those placed on the prohibitive lists. We are also envisioning a trial machine voting system. The new code improves the possibilities for those with disabilities to vote. There is still discussion on certain texts in the code, which could be amended or dropped.
Why is it taking so long to adopt the new Election Code?
There are various reasons, including the lack of quorum in parliament. There is an evident tendency from the opposition GERB party to delay the adoption, through constant debates. Meanwhile, the previous session on this topic was suspended due to the tragic death of the Socialist MP Dimcho Mihalevski.
There were allegations that the ruling coalition is delaying the Code's adoption for fear of early Parliamentary elections. What would you answer to that?
We are not the ones delaying the code. The delay is coming from GERB and Ataka. Our interest is to have it voted as soon as possible.
In case it does not pass, what is the problem with holding elections with the old Code?
The problem is that under the old Code, GERB will once again have the chance to manipulate the results, together with members of the Central Election Committee, which they nominated themselves.
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