Bulgarian Independent MPs Propose Banning Parties from Elections

Domestic | March 5, 2013, Tuesday // 14:31|  views

Independent MP Kiril Gumnerov, one of the initiators of the draft bill stipulating a ban on the participation of political parties in elctions. Photo by BGNES

Independent MPs Kiril Gumnerov and Stoyan Ivanov have proposed amendments to Bulgaria's Election Code providing that candidates for MPs can take part in elections only through national initiative committees.

The draft bill, submitted to Parliament on March 4, stipulates an obligation for the state to pay for media appearances of candidates.

Gumnerov and Ivanov, former MPs of nationalist party Ataka, suggest that the phrase "parties and coalitions of parties" must be replaced with "national initiative committees" everywhere in the Election Code.

The draft bill of Gumnerov and Ivanov, which is available on the Parliament's website, stipulates an explicit ban for the participation of political parties in elections.

"All citizens, without regard to party affiliation, can participate in general elections only through national initiative committees or civic initiative committees," the draft bill says, as cited by Sega daily.

According to the proposal of the two independent MPs, national initiative committees are to be registered at the Central Electoral Commission no later than 50 days before election day.

The initiative committees are to present lists with the uniform civil numbers and signatures of no less than 7000 voters upon their registration.

The lists of candidates are to be registered with the support of 2400 – 5000 signatures, depending on the district magnitude.

Under the draft bill, the initiative committees will not have the right to finance their media campaigns on their own.

Instead, the Council of Ministers will determine an amount of money to be allocated per candidate and pay the sums directly to the highest-rated national and local electronic and print media.

Under the draft bill, any other type of pre-election agitation is to be banned.

Gumnerov and Ivanov were elected MPs in 2009 on the list of nationalist party Ataka.

After leaving Ataka, the two became independent MPs and established the coalition called "No to EU."

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Tags: Central Electoral Commission, Election Code, general elections, initiative committee, Bulgarian Parliament, draft bill, nationalist party, Ataka, Kiril Gumnerov, Stoyan Ivanov


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