Six-Point Referendum on Political System to be Held in Bulgaria

Domestic | April 8, 2016, Friday // 10:06|  views

The ballot paper used for voting in the referendum on remote electronic voting in October last year. Photo: BGNES

A referendum featuring six questions on the political system will be held in Bulgaria after it was established that the required number of signatures have been collected.

The petition was initiated by one of the most popular TV shows in Bulgaria – Slavi's show and managed to gather 673 481 signatures in favour of holding the six-point referendum.

A check of the general directorate of the regional ministry established that 572 650 of the signatures are valid, with the minimum threshold for the holding of a referendum initiated by citizens being 400 000 valid signatures.

Parliament will have to determine the date for the holding of the referendum, with the referendum likely to be held simultaneously with the presidential elections in the autumn or before that.

Three of the questions concern the electoral rules and cover the same issues which had been proposed for inclusion in a referendum by Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev.

These are the introduction of compulsory voting, electronic voting and majority electoral system.

Last year, the parliament rejected two of the questions proposed by Plevneliev and left only the one on remote electronic voting, with the referendum held in October last year. At the referendum, voters overwhelmingly approved the introduction of remote electronic voting.

The three remaining questions proposed by Slavi's show concern cutting the number of MPs in half from 240 to 120, direct election of the directors of regional directorates of the interior ministry and the heads of the district police departments and cutting the annual state subsidy paid to parties and coalitions to BGN 1 per voter.

Slavi's show had three months to collect the signatures. During the same time, businessman Veselin Mareshki ran a parallel signature for a referendum.

One of the questions on the five-point referendum initiated by Mareshki was the same, namely cutting the number of MPs in half.

The other questions propose abolishing the state subsidy paid to parties and coalitions, the introduction of regulations on the fuel market, abolishing the immunity from criminal prosecution of MPs, lifting the restriction barring a person to open more than four pharmacies on the territory of the country.

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Tags: Bulgaria, Referendum, petition, compulsory voting, electronic voting, majority electoral system, subsidy, Veselin Mareshki, Slavi's Show


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