Cause and Effect in European Politics and Law

New election legislation in Bulgaria

Adelina Marini, April 27, 2009

A little more than a month before the parliamentary elections in Bulgaria, the National Assembly demonstrated flexibility, cunning and speed and approved changes in the Legislation for election of MPs, published in the Official paper of Bulgaria on the 24th of April with the parliamentary elections set for the time between the 25th of June and the 3rd of July. With the changes the mixed electoral system is implemented for the first time which gives the opportunity to elect MPs by a majority rep. We will be able to elect 31 MPs with the new system and the other 209 will be elected via the proportional system.

Beside this, the Parliament has introduced the definitely discriminatory restriction of 8 % for coalitions. Thus, coalition of parties will not be able to give any MPs if they gain less than 8 % of the votes in Bulgaria and abroad. The restriction for single parties remains the same - 4 %.

To make things more amusing the MPs decided to introduce experimentally electronic voting. The Ministry of state administration said that it would be almost impossible to organise this part in the very short time that is to the elections.

There are also changes in the legislation regarding the financing of the election campaigns: "All donations and expenditures, related to the election campaign, for over 5000 levs should be paid through a bank". In other words, if the sum is 4999 levs it may be paid directly and that would definitely make it difficult of the Auditing agency to detect irregularities.

There's progress in the legislation for the disabled people who are unable to go to the the polls. For the first time the mobile ballot box is introduced with the changes in the legislation.

The usage of mobile phones, cameras and other video recording devices is forbidden for the purpose of recording the way a person votes. Naturally, if you're being asked, you can always say that you have pictured the interior of the cabin for example.