Plevneliev Urges Changes to Election Rules to Boost Turnout, Reduce Vote Buying
Bulgaria's President Rosen Plevneliev on Wednesday sumbitted to parliament a proposal to hold a national referendum on amendments to voting rules alongside the local elections on 25 October.
In remarks released by his office Plevneliev explained that the changes aim to reduce the weight of manipulated or controlled vote in the overall results and boost voter turnout.
The introduction of a mixed electoral system combines the advantages of majority and proportional systems and reduces their drawbacks, Plevneliev said.
"As the head of state I firmly support the multi-party political system, which is one of the most valuable achievements of our transition".
By introducing a mixed-member voting system, under which part of the MPs are elected through a majority vote, and the rest are elected on party lists, Bulgaria will preserve the diversity of its political landscape and at the same time will allow voting for personalities rather than party-affiliated candidates only.
Commenting on the potential benefits of compulsory voting, Plevneliev said that it will help reduce the relative weight of vote buying and manipulation.
"Only by increasing voter turnout will we be able to reduce the weight of controlled vote,” he said.
In addition, compulsory voting will help bring alienated voters back into Bulgaria’s political life.
“The greater the number of citizens expressing their will, the more legitimate the election results will be,” Plevneliev said.
E-voting is another means of increasing turnout as more voters will be able to cast ballots, Plevneliev opined.
“It will make it much easier to vote in elections and referendums for more than 1.5 million of our compatriots living abroad as well as many citizens in the country who aren’t indifferent what its future will be.”
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