Bulgarian president mulls veto of electoral code amendments

Bulgarian president mulls veto of electoral code amendments
By bne IntelliNews May 4, 2016

Bulgarian president Rosen Plevneliev will decide within the next few days whether to veto some of the recently adopted electoral code amendments after an ongoing legal analysis is completed. Plevneliev said that a potential veto will concern specific texts and will be based on clear arguments.

Bulgarians living abroad have opposed one of the amendments which will reduce the number of polling stations outside the country. They demanded a presidential veto, and said that if it is not imposed, they will approach the constitutional court.

Previously, the opposition predominantly ethnic-Turk Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) said that it will approach the constitutional court about another amendment introducing mandatory voting. Since then, however, the parliament changed the condition for erasing the non-voters from the electoral roll.

In another related development, the parliament also reversed an amendment separating the dates of referendums and elections. The assembly kept the old regime, under which national referendums will be held simultaneously with elections. An immediate implication is that a referendum initiated by the popular Bulgarian TV show “Slavi’s Show” will be held simultaneously with the presidential elections this autumn.

The initiative for the referendum was signed by 600,000 people. It will ask six questions concerning the introduction of the majority electoral system, halving the number of lawmakers, the introduction of mandatory voting, support for remote electronic voting, a rule on state subsidies for political parties, and introducing the election of senior police officials.

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