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.
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.
Photots: BGNES and Diana Kostova
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