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Historical features of election process in Bulgaria

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The election roulette is spinning once again. Bulgarian citizens are electing MPs for the 46th National Assembly. The democratic election process in this country has its own lasting traditions. As early as 1879, shortly after its Liberation, Bulgaria already had modern election legislation, built according to European standards, Dr. Svetoslav Zhivkov of the History Faculty of Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski” says. However, in Bulgarian elections in the past the issue of the formation of election bureaus, where the vote took place directly, was a delicate one. You can find out how those who were supposed to organize the election process were chosen and what voter turnout was in the early twentieth century HERE.

Today, for the first time, Bulgarian voters exercise their right to vote by mandatory machine voting. However, paper ballots have not went down in history. More than 7 million ballots have been printed for sections with fewer than 300 voters. Ballots are also an option in the event of machine failure. When were the first printed ballots and the proportional electoral system introduced, and what is a multiple negative preference? You can learn the answers from the second part of the interview with Dr. Svetoslav Zhivkov.

The review of the historical features of the election process in this country logically takes us to the times of the socialist regime and to the democratic changes after 1989. How were parliaments elected under one-party regime and did politicians after 1989 manage to revive democratic traditions? You can find answers in Radio Bulgaria’s article Voting in Bulgaria was not born yesterday - Part III.

Editor: Elena Karkalanova

English: Alexander Markov

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