Bulgaria's ABV Party Tables Amendments to Referendum LegislationDomestic | April 2, 2015, Thursday // 14:10| views
The plenary chamber of the Bulgarian Nationa Assembly. Photo: BGNES
One of the parties supporting Bulgaria's coalition government, left-wing ABV, tabled to Parliament amendments to the referendum legislation on Thursday.
According to the proposed amendments, referenda should be deemed valid if 40 % of eligible voters have participated in them, daily Dnevnik reports.
The current legislation provides that the number of voters participating in a referendum should not be lower than that of voters at the last parliamentary elections in order for the plebiscite to be valid.
The amendments have not been coordinated with the other partners in the coalition, but ABV expects their support.
If the proposal is adopted, it will make the holding of a valid referendum possible, as for the moment interest towards referenda is considerably lower than that for general elections.
The proposed amendments are in line with the intention of holding a referendum on the electoral rules together with the forthcoming local elections in the autumn.
The debate on the holding of referendum on electoral rules was renewed by Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev during the month of political consultations.
Both Bulgaria's main ruling party GERB and the smaller parties of the governing coalition expressed their support for the holding of such referendum with the local elections.
The 40 % threshold falls in the middle between thresholds applicable in other European countries, which vary between 20 and 50 %.
The proposal tabled by ABV foresees the same threshold to be applicable when holding local referenda.
The bill foresees reduction in the number of signatures required for proposing a referendum initiative to parliament from 250 000 to 150 000.
ABV also proposed the number of signatures required for calling a referendum to be reduced from 500 000 to 300 000.
This will provide smaller parties and NGOs with the opportunity to organise petitions for initiating a referendum.