Bulgarian MPs Vow to Reduce Party Subsidies in 2014Domestic | July 18, 2013, Thursday // 12:09| views
Maya Manolova, MP from the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) and Deputy Parliament Chair, photo by BGNES
Bulgarian MPs kept the existing mechanism for distributing state subsidies among political parties, agreeing that a change could be introduced at the beginning of 2014, depending on the condition of the state budget.
During Thursday's sitting of Parliament, a set of amendments to the Political Parties Act passed second reading.
Under the changes, subsidies for MPs who leave a party will remain with the party on whose ticket they entered Parliament.
The MPs did not change the provision that all extra-parliamentary parties which were backed by at least 1% of the voters at the elections are entitled to a subsidy.
Under existing laws, all political parties which passed the 1% threshold receive an annual subsidy of BGN 12 per vote.
The MPs rejected the proposal of nationalist party Ataka to retain the subsidy only for parties which passed the 4% threshold for entering Parliament.
"We must keep the existing provision that all parties who passed the 1% threshold are entitled to a subsidy, but we shall do everything possible for the amount to be substantially reduced, thereby meeting the expectations of civil society and the protesters," said Maya Manolova, MP from the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) and Deputy Parliament Chair, as cited by Sega daily.
"The amount of the subsidy is not constant, it must not be specified in a law, but decided on the basis of the condition of the state budget. As regards the issue of penalizing MPs who do not participate in the work of Parliament, we need to think about more serious sanctions for the MPs themselves, not the parliamentary groups," said Hristo Biserov from the ethnic Turkish Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) party.
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