Bulgarian PM Calls for Reform of Central Election CommissionPolitics | November 8, 2023, Wednesday // 09:59| views
In an interactive session with the public, Prime Minister Nikolai Denkov announced a need for the National Assembly to consider reforms within the Central Election Commission (CEC).
During a live Facebook broadcast, Prime Minister Nikolai Denkov engaged with citizens and addressed several critical issues. He expressed the importance of revising the composition of the Central Election Commission, highlighting that its current makeup does not accurately represent the present situation. Denkov emphasized that this adjustment should be the responsibility of the National Assembly.
The Prime Minister also responded to concerns regarding the recent scandal involving voting machines during the first round of local elections. He stressed the need to investigate and resolve these issues while underlining that changing ministers, such as Alexander Yolovski, who leads the Ministry of Electronic Government, is not currently on the agenda.
Denkov discussed the government's priorities for the coming months, including improving the quality of life to encourage Bulgarians to live and work in the country. He noted a significant increase in social spending over the past two years and revealed plans for additional funding for salaries. Denkov also mentioned forthcoming discussions on tax laws to formulate a budget that reflects these changes, with debates expected to commence next week.
Regarding pension updates, the Prime Minister anticipated an 11% increase in mid-2024, stating that this would effectively provide monthly Christmas supplements to retirees.
In the context of Bulgaria's progress toward Eurozone membership, Denkov emphasized that the nation meets three key criteria, with inflation being the only outlier. He pointed to precedents, such as Croatia's acceptance into the Eurozone, where similar deviations existed. He suggested that Bulgaria could request a review to demonstrate its financial stability.
On the subject of Schengen, Denkov highlighted Bulgaria's substantial efforts in reducing migrant flows and advancing the rule of law. He expressed confidence that these achievements are widely appreciated by international partners.
Prime Minister Denkov raised concerns about the President's actions, emphasizing that the President should not have the authority to refuse requested measures, as this could hinder the government's functioning. He expressed hope for a constructive dialogue to resolve this issue.
Denkov mentioned that the government had made changes to support smaller hospitals by allocating targeted funds to ensure their continued operation.
Regarding infrastructure projects, Denkov reported that work is ongoing for the "Hemus" highway, with progress made on various road connections within the country. Additionally, multiple public procurements for locomotives and railway network expansion are currently underway.
The Prime Minister addressed issues within the healthcare system, particularly the implementation of electronic prescriptions and digital textbooks. He acknowledged challenges related to pharmaceutical interests, prescribing practices, and the need for education and training.
Denkov mentioned the availability of digital backpacks for students and outlined plans to extend this service to cover all textbooks from grades 8 to 12. Training programs for teachers and students on using digital resources are also in development.
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