Bulgarian Parliament Lowers Threshold for Initiating Referendum

Domestic | July 21, 2015, Tuesday // 15:22|  views

Plenary chamber of Bulgaria's National Assembly. Photo: BGNES

The Bulgarian Parliament adopted at second reading on Tuesday the amendments to the law on direct participation of citizens in the government.

According to the adopted amendments, the collection of 400 000 signatures will be enough to initiate a compulsory referendum, daily Dnevnik repots.

Thus, the threshold for initiating referendum by citizens was lowered from 500 000 to 400 000 signatures.

Moreover, the parliament will not have the right to refuse the holding of the referendum or to amend the question.

The MPs voted against the proposals for lowering the threshold even further to 300 000 signatures.

The parliament also approved the holding of referendum and local elections on the same day, with 88 MPs voting in favour, 12 against, while 11 MPs abstained.

The only party expressing opposition to the amendments was the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS), which even proposed increasing the threshold from 500 000 to 800 000 signatures.

DPS leader Lyutvi Mestan said that the discussed amendments were favouring the holding of the referendum proposed by Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev.

The proposed referendum is to feature questions on the introduction of compulsory voting, electronic voting and majority voting.

According to Mestan, the introduction of majority electoral system will result in a one-party rule.

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Tags: Bulgaria, parliament, Referendum, Rosen Plevneliev, DPS, Lyutvi Mestan, compulsory voting, electronic voting, majority voting, signatures


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