Bulgarian MPs Move Towards Easing Requirements for Initiating Referendums

Politics » DOMESTIC | June 24, 2015, Wednesday // 07:52
Bulgaria: Bulgarian MPs Move Towards Easing Requirements for Initiating Referendums Plenary chamber of Bulgaria's National Assembly. Photo: BGNES

Members of the parliamentary Legal Affairs Committee adopted on Tuesday amendments to the Referendum Act lowering the number of citizens' signatures required for initiating national polls.

The Bulgarian MPs decided to lower the number of signatures from 500 000 to 400 000, daily Dnevnik reports.

The junior coalition partner – the Reformist Bloc (RB) had proposed the threshold to be even lower – 300 000 signatures.

The MPs also adopted amendments to the threshold required for the outcome of a referendum to be deemed valid.

They adopted different thresholds, distinguishing between the cases when a referendum is held on its own and when it is held together with other elections.

In order for a referendum to be deemed valid and the issue proposed in it to be adopted, at least 40 % of eligible voters should have taken part and more than half of them should have responded with “yes”.

In case a referendum is held together with other elections, the threshold will not be applicable and the voter turnout at the accompanying elections will be taken into account.

Earlier, the parliament adopted amendment allowing for Bulgarians living abroad also to be eligible to vote in referendums.

The next step is for the amendments to be subjected to voting in the plenary chamber.

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Tags: Bulgaria, parliament, Referendum, threshold, signatures, election, voting

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