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Parliament votes in favour of paper-or-machine voting after 18 hours of arguments and quarrelling

| updated on 12/2/22 5:52 PM
Photo: BGNES

At a sitting of the National Assembly that dragged on for 18 hours, the MPs voted (with the votes of GERB-SDS, the Movement for Rights and Freedoms and до the Bulgarian Socialist Party), at second reading, that voters shall exercise their right to vote using a paper ballot or by voting machine, but never got to discussing half of the texts in the Election Code.

The arguments concerning the mixed form of voting grew to noisy altercations and personal attacks, with the MPs from We Continue the Change and Democratic Bulgaria walking out of plenary, calls for protests, and a statement by We Continue the Change that they will not propose a cabinet on the second government-forming mandate if voting by paper ballot is voted back into the Election Code. Meanwhile Democratic Bulgaria and We Continue the Change called a protest in front of parliament building against the voting by paper ballot.

The protest in front of parliament building

During the long parliamentary sitting, the MPs also voted to keep the constituency for expatriate voters, for video surveillance and recording on election day, for counting, by hand, of the ballots from the voting machines alongside the paper ballots. At the insistence of Vazrazhdane party, the Bulgarian national anthem was played at midnight. 

The final decision is to vote both by paper ballots and machines in the next elections, and the results will also be recorded on flash drives. However, a protocol from the machine voting will not be printed, and applications for opening a new electoral section abroad remain 40.
Parliament also agreed that the Central Election Commission should provide access to the source code and documentation of the machines to the representatives of the parties and coalitions that received more than 4% in the last election.

Photots: BGNES and Diana Kostova

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