Cause and Effect in European Politics and Law

Bulgarians abroad vs. the electoral tourism or enthusiasm vs. money

Adelina Marini, June 24, 2009

In 2005 just for 8 days 300 Bulgarians abroad registered in the Internet site, designated to the parliamentary vote and created by Andrey Nenov and Krasimir Gadzhokov. The idea of the then-site and its latest version is born then - in 2005 with main aim to facilitate the application for voting abroad. But this year beside Andrey and Krasimir, a group in the social network Facebook also helps by creating the group "Voting without borders", created by the journalist Antoni De la Rea. And if back then in 2005 only 20 applications were necessary to open a polling station somewhere, now the law requires 100 applications which most observers and voters see as an attempt of the ruling coalition to prevent Bulgarians abroad from voting.

This is what Krasimir Gadzhokov himself tells euinside. The re-work of the 2005-Internet site takes only 2 days and is done for free just because of inside motivation - he wants to help in any way. But the creators of the Internet site have another connections - the Bulgarian Easter initiative which brought in 2001 many people that have proved themselves abroad in the Bulgarian government. Asked what he thinks about those people that have returned to Bulgaria and became ministers, Krasimir says:

"Well, we're still in the Bulgarian Easter and they were mainly keen on the flourish meetings. Nikolay Vassilev is the only exception (now a minister of the state administration; he was a minister in the previous government too - of the transport and of economy). He, in spite of all the criticism, cannot be blamed of any suspicious deals nor in any other political games. And when we were organising the annual gatherings he would always come to report what had been done on the "original" easter programme from 2001. But please do not confuse yourselves - neither he nor any other of those that became ministers, deputy ministers and other political officials, are still in the Bulgarians Easter. They are gone for years and are not interested at all".

This story may be shows one more time that e-voting, nonetheless being a problem for some, is actually the only way to make citizens be more active and say clearly how they want their country to develop. This would put on an equal basis the 123 polling stations in Turkey with many other people, using the Internet and searching for a connection to their country, as well as with the many young people within Bulgaria that would be much more eager to spare 2-3 minutes to vote while browsing the Network.