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President Radev issues decree to promulgate amendments to Electoral Code in State Gazette

| updated on 4/30/21 2:54 PM
Photo: BNR

Bulgaria’s President Rumen Radev has issued a decree to promulgate a bill of amendments to the Electoral Code in State Gazette. On April 29, 2021, Bulgaria’s National Assembly adopted amendments to this country’s Electoral Code. The amendments to the Electoral Code will be promulgated in the extraordinary issue of State Gazette on May 1.

On April 29, Bulgaria's National Assembly adopted the following amendments to this country's Electoral Code:

The number of polling stations abroad will be unlimited, the parliament has finally voted. After a re-vote that GERB called for, the votes "in favour" were 117, while 107 abstained and 8 were against the change. The amendment was adopted after a heated debate in plenary hall. The change was proposed by the party "There Is Such a People" (ITN) and it was supported by "Democratic Bulgaria", "Stand Up! Thugs Out” and MRF.

The National Assembly authorized establishment of polling stations abroad, based on at least 40 voting applications submitted, instead of 60 applications submitted.

So far, the polling stations have been limited to 35 for non-EU states, and the limit was introduced by GERB and the Patriotic Front in 2016 with the idea of ​​ limiting votes from Turkey. After Brexit, the restriction created a problem due to the large number of Bulgarian citizens in the UK, who complained that they had failed to vote.

However, there will be no electoral district “Abroad”, because the MPs did not approve the zoning methodology. People placed under quarantine will be able to submit voting applications on the day of elections.

The composition of the Central Election Commission (CEC) is reduced from 20 to 15 people. According to the new amendments, the members of the Central Election Commission will be appointed by Bulgaria’s President upon a proposal of the political parties and coalitions represented at the National Assembly. The political parties will nominate the Central Election Commission’s chairperson, deputy chairperson and secretary, but the entire commission will be appointed by a Presidential decree, following public consultations and a procedure determined by this country’s head of state. Parties and coalitions with MEPs will no longer have representatives at the Central Election Commission, if they are not represented in Bulgaria’s Parliament. Bulgaria’s Parliament approved 100% machine voting in polling stations with more than 300 voters.

There will be no postal voting abroad. The MPs also rejected the proposal for an experimental electronic voting during the forthcoming Presidential elections.

The MPs approved a video surveillance in election commissions when ballots are counted and tally sheets are filled in. The process will be broadcast online. Tense debates were held on the introduction of the majority voting electoral system. In the end, the MPs agreed that the proportional electoral system would be used until the first regular general elections.


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