Bulgarian Opposition GERB to Back Mandatory Voting

Domestic | June 6, 2014, Friday // 12:38|  views

Boyko Borisov (R) and Tsvetan Tsvetanov (L) have said their party will back socialist leader Sergey Stanishev's proposal for mandatory voting.

GERB will support amendments in Constitution that will introduce mandatory voting, the opposition party's Deputy Chair Tsvetan Tsvetanov announced.

He added that if such a proposal fails to gather majority, the center-right party would also back a referendum on the same issue which would allow citizens to have a say on the issue, as Dnevnik.bg reports.

Tsvetanov's statement came an hour after Sergey Stanishev, who leads the ruling socialists, put forward the idea of constitutional changes introducing mandatory voting which would put an end to electoral manipulations. His words followed remarks government partner DPS's head Lyuvti Mestan that early elections this autumn are a preferred option for his party.

Stanishev made the step after his party had resisted for months the idea of a referendum on mandatory voting and the establishment of a majority system raised by President Rosen Plevneliev.

GERB leader Boyko Borisov commented on Stanishev's move by saying he wished that "100% of Bulgarians go to the polls, because this is when a government is the most representative".

Under the Bulgarian Constitution, a quarter of lawmakers have the right to introduce proposals to amend its text.

An act inserting changes to the Constitution requires the approval of a three-quarters majority in three voting sessions held on different days.

If combined, GERB and BSP's votes would make 176 out of 240 lawmakers in support of mandatory voting. They would thus depend on government partners from the DPS or the far-right party Ataka to approve any constitutional changes.

They could however provide the two-thirds majority necessary to put the proposal forward for discussion 2 to 5 months on from the previous vote.

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Tags: Boyko Borisov, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, GERB, DPS, Lyutvi Mestan, Sergey Stanishev, mandatory voting, constitution, Rosen Plevneliev


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