29% of Bulgarian Referendum Voters Were Non-Partisan

Domestic | January 28, 2013, Monday // 14:22|  views

On January 27, 2013, Bulgarians answered in the referendum the following question: "Should nuclear energy be developed in Bulgaria through the construction of new nuclear power units?" File photo

One third of Bulgarians, (29%), who voted in the country's first national referendum since 1989, have done it without being influenced by a political party.

The data comes from the exit poll of the Alfa Research Agency.

The poll has further shown that 34% of the voters have supported the political position of the opposition, left-wing Bulgarian Socialist party, BSP.

24% have been influenced by the ruling, center-right Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria party, GERB; 3.5% - by the right-wing Union of Democratic Forces, UDF, and Democrats for Strong Bulgaria, DSB; 3% - by the far-right, nationalist Ataka and VMRO, 6.5% - by other parties.

The January 27 referendum asked the question "Should nuclear energy be developed in the Republic of Bulgaria through the construction of a new nuclear power plant?"

GERB, UDF, and DSB were for a "No" answer; the Socialists and the Nationalists supported the "Yes" one.

Boryana Dimitrova from Alfa Research commented the percentage of the non-partisan voters was very high and this was one of the most important outcomes of the referendum.

A turnout of 21.8% was announced by the Alfa Research polling agency after the closing of the polling sections at 7 pm Sunday.

The vote would have been binding if the number of votes equals that of votes at the last parliamentary elections, 4,225,124, and if more than half of them vote "yes".

According to the law, if less people vote on the referendum, but if the turnout is over 20%, and more than half of the votes are positive, then the question is tabled for debate in the Parliament.

The exit polls results mean that now the project to build a second Nuclear Power Plant in the Danube town of Belene will be put back on the agenda, as the activity slightly exceeded 20%.

61% of the voters have said "yes" to the question; 39% - have cast a "no" ballot.

The referendum was sponsored by the Bulgarian Socialist Party, which gathered a petition of more than the 0.5 million legally needed signatures.

Originally, Belene NPP had to be built by Russian state company Atomstroyexport, but the Bulgarian cabinet froze the project in the early spring of 2012 due to perceived lack of economic effectiveness.

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Tags: UDF, GERB, BSP, non-partisan, DSB, Ataka, VMRO, nuclear energy, Referendum, Belene NPP, Polling agency, Alfa Research, NPP


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