NGO Demands Electoral System Change Favoring Bulgarians Abroad

Domestic | June 24, 2010, Thursday // 18:14|  views

Iskra Fidosova has mentioned in an interview some possible changes in the electoral system in Bulgaria, proposed by the NGO "Voting without Borders". Photo by BGNES

The Bulgarian foundation “Voting without Borders” has insisted on the establishment of a separate voting region for the Bulgarians who live abroad.

In an official statement, the foundation says it is watching closely the work of the temporary parliamentary committee for drafting an electoral code for the Bulgarians temporary or permanently living abroad.

The organization reminds that in an interview from a few days ago the head of the temporary committee, MP Iskra Fidosova, who is the Co-Chair of the Parliamentary Group of Bulgaria's ruling party GERB, has pointed out some main points that have been proposed by “Voting without Borders”, and that they should be considered when drafting the code.

One of the points is to give an opportunity to the Bulgarians who live abroad to vote at parliamentary and presidential elections through voting sections outside of the diplomatic and consular premises and through strict regulation of the procedures, guaranteeing the fairness of the voting process.

Another suggestion by the foundation, and mentioned by Fidosova, is to create a system for online voting.

The third major point in the suggestion concerns the integration of Bulgarians who live abroad, including the Bulgarians with a different citizenship, into the political life in the country.

According to MP Fidosova, this would require an amendment of the Bulgarian Constitution.

“The foundation “Voting without Borders” marks with satisfaction that the parliamentary committee has taken into account its suggestions, presented in a series of articles, reports and statements to the Parliament from November 2009 until now and it is greeting these changes, aimed at integrating the diaspora with the political life in the country and the introduction of European standards in the Bulgarian voting process,” the statement says.

“Voting without Borders” has exposed another problem that has not been mentioned by Fidosova. It concerns the establishment of an electoral district “Abroad” in which Bulgarians can vote for candidate tickets, including with preferential vote, just like the Bulgarians who live in the country.

“Under the existing law, the votes of the Bulgarians who live abroad are apportioned among the votes, submitted in the country. This disparages the votes of the Bulgarians abroad and discourages them. On the other hand, it distorts the voting in Bulgaria,” the foundation's statement says, adding that more than one million Bulgarians abroad do not have a representative in the Parliament, which makes Bulgaria the only Balkan country without an institutional connection with its diaspora.

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Tags: NGO, Voting without Borders, Iskra Fidosova, voting


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