Bulgarian MPs Reject Mandatory, Online Vote ProposalsDomestic | February 4, 2014, Tuesday // 15:41| views
The Deputy Speaker of the Parliament, Maya Manolova, from the Bulgarian Socialist Party, photo by BGNES
The ad hoc parliamentary committee for the preparation of a new Election Code expectedly rejected the proposals of the Bulgarian opposition.
On Monday, the formerly ruling, centrist Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria party (GERB) submitted several ideas that were dismissed on first reading.
One of the proposals was to introduce mandatory vote, but not through sanctions for those who would not go to the polls. The provision was to encourage people to vote by giving them vouchers for BGN 20 for administrative services.
The other two proposals included the implementation of a mixed voting system to have 32 majority-elected Members of the Parliament (not through party ballots) and online vote for Bulgarians abroad.
Maya Manolova, Deputy Speaker of the Parliament and MP from the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) said the vouchers proposal was absurd and a way to buy votes.
"We, of course, could not expect anything else from GERB – vote buying is their way of winning elections," Manolova said.
The proposals largely matched the questions to be asked in a referendum to be carried out simultaneously with the European elections, voiced by President Rosen Plevneliev.
The Committee further rejected the proposal of the liberal party Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS), mostly representing the Turkish minority in the country, to remove the permanent residency requirement for voters.
The proposal of the nationalist, extremist Ataka party to ban Bulgarians with dual citizenships from voting was also dismissed.