Bulgaria's DPS Takes U-Turn on Majority System

Domestic | June 19, 2015, Friday // 11:01|  views

Photo by BGNES

The second-largest opposition party in Bulgaria, the DPS, has backtracked on its calls for a rewording of questions a forthcoming referendum on voting rules.

On Friday Lyutvi Mestan, who heads the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS), told NOVA TV arguments favoring the introduction of a majority system were "irrational".

Just two days earlier he announced the DPS would table a proposal to ask Bulgarians whether the majority system should be fully introduced and used to elect all 240 Bulgarian lawmakers.

Currently, the wording on offer in the national poll, which will be held simultaneously with local elections, aims at asking citizens if a certain (and not specified) part of MPs should be elected through a majority vote.

In Mestan's words this could bring about the prospect of a mixed electoral system which might put an end to coalitions and, possibly, bring about "totalitarianism".

His latest comment on the issue was that it is "wrong" and "an illusion" to expect that reforms in the electoral system will change the political status quo and the focus should be "on the quality of politicians and parties" instead.

"I am very happy that the DPS's proposal triggered such strong criticism against the majority system. We will deliver... on our commitment to offer an edited version to President [Rosen PlevnđÁliev]'s question so that it reads: Do you agree that all 240 MPs should be elected through majority vote?"

Other two questions on which Bulgarians will have their say are about the introduction of compulsory voting and electronic voting respectively.

Analysts initially took Mestan's support for majority rule as a surprise, since the DPS had often slammed at steps which might drastically change the electoral system.

Last year, the DPS issued strong remarks after then socialist leader Sergey Stanishev proposed the introduction of compulsory voting.

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Tags: Lyutvi Mestan, Rosen Plevneliev, DPS, voting rules, Referendum, majority, compulsory voting, electronic voting

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