Articles about voting issues in the Republic of Bulgaria.

Bulgaria: President Demands Curbs on ‘Foreign Interference’ | Balkan Insight

In an address to the nation on Tuesday, Radev called on the new parliament which will start work on April 19 to take steps to prevent the recurrence of what he called “significant problems” at snap elections last month. He said Bulgaria had witnessed “targeted attempt from abroad to influence the electoral results” – indirectly referring to Turkey’s agitation in favour of DOST, a recently-formed ethnic Turkish-dominated party, which resulted in the extradition of several Turkish officials by the Bulgarian authorities prior to the vote. “The problems remain after the election. They do not end with external interference, there are targeted attempts at deep and systematic infiltration and influence over society and political life in the country,” Radev said. Read More

Bulgaria: Caretaker Justice Minister fires official over unconstitutional draft bill limiting voting rights abroad | The Sofia Globe

A controversial draft bill that would have curtailed the voting rights of Bulgarians abroad has been withdrawn and the official responsible for posting it online has been fired. This was announced by the Justice Ministry on April 5, a day after reports about the draft bill, which proposed allowing Bulgarians to vote in parliamentary and presidential elections only if they had been resident in the country three months prior to the vote. Critics immediately pointed out that this would hardly survive a challenge in the Constitutional Court. In its Wednesday statement, the ministry said that caretaker Justice Minister Maria Pavlova had identified “imperfections” in the text of the draft amendments to the Bulgarian Citizenship Act. Read More

Bulgaria: Borisov’s pro-EU party beats Socialists in Bulgaria’s snap election | AFP

Boiko Borisov, the comeback specialist of Bulgarian politics, looked to have done it again as exit polls from a snap election put his pro-EU centre-right party in first place. Borisov’s European Development of Bulgaria (GERB) party won about 32%, the exit polls on Sunday showed, ahead of the Socialist party (BSP) on about 28%. Observers had suggested victory for the BSP might see Bulgaria, a Nato member, tilt more towards Russia. Moscow, which has long had close cultural and economic ties with Bulgaria, has been accused of seeking to expand its influence in other Balkan countries in recent months. Borisov said after the exit poll that he was “obliged” by the vote to form a government but whether the burly former firefighter and mayor of Sofia, 57, can form a stable coalition remains to be seen. Read More

Bulgaria: Ex-Premier Nears Return to Power in a Key Election for Europe | The New York Times

The former prime minister of Bulgaria verged on retaking power Sunday as his center-right party held a narrow lead in a contested election, a sign that Bulgarians still see their future lying with the European Union. While official results were not expected until Monday, it appeared that the former leader, Boiko Borisov, would form a new government in Bulgaria, the European Union’s poorest member, probably in a coalition with an alliance of smaller right-wing nationalist parties. The Socialists, who had advocated stronger ties with Russia and had vowed to block a renewal of European Union sanctions against the Kremlin, could not convince enough voters that they were the better alternative and conceded defeat. Read More

Bulgaria: Snap election to test Bulgaria’s divided loyalties | Reuters

Bulgarians vote on Sunday in a closely-fought election, with the centre-right GERB party challenged for power by Socialists who say they will improve ties with Russia even if it means upsetting the country’s European Union partners. Opinion polls put the GERB party of former prime minister Boiko Borisov, 57, only narrowly ahead of the Socialists, who have seen their popularity rise since the candidate they backed, Rumen Radev, won Bulgaria’s presidency in November. Borisov resigned in the wake of Radev’s victory, triggering Bulgaria’s third parliamentary election in just four years. Read More

Bulgaria: The Under-the-Radar EU Vote That Opens the Door for Russia | Bloomberg

With eyes fixed on populist threats in other European Union elections, one vote has escaped the glare. And this one promises to strengthen Russia’s foothold in the region. While affirming their commitment to the EU, Bulgaria’s two biggest parties say they’ll revive economic ties with Russia to benefit voters who feel let down by the bloc a decade after membership. The Socialists, neck and neck with Gerb before Sunday’s snap parliamentary ballot, vow to go further, by sinking sanctions against President Vladimir Putin’s government. A Russian-friendly Socialist won the presidency in 2016. Read More

Bulgaria: Foreign Ministry announces 371 polling stations in 70 countries | The Sofia Globe

There will be a total of 371 polling stations in 70 foreign countries for Bulgaria’s March 26 2017 early parliamentary elections, the Foreign Ministry in Sofia said on March 21. More than 45 000 notifications of intention to vote in a foreign country were submitted, the largest number from Bulgarian citizens in Turkey, 19 000. There were more than 5300 from the United Kingdom and more than 3000 from Spain. Ballot papers have been delivered to a third of the polling stations so far. Read More

Bulgaria: Expats in Germany and US take election commission to court over polling stations | The Sofia Globe

ulgarian citizens living in Germany and the United States are taking the Central Election Commission (CEC) to the Supreme Administrative Court over the commission not opening polling stations in 13 German cities and two places in the US with Bulgarian communities. This emerged from the electronic public register of complaints and communications submitted to the CEC, Bulgarian National Radio said on March 9, seventeen days ahead of Bulgaria’s early parliamentary elections. Read More

Bulgaria: Could the lack of voting machines sink Bulgaria’s March parliamentary elections? | The Sofia Globe

The fact that there will not be voting machines at all polling stations in Bulgaria’s March 26 2017 early parliamentary elections could open the way for a challenge in the Constitutional Court challenge – but there is no certainty that such a challenge would succeed. This emerges from the view taken by some members of the Central Election Commission (CEC) and specialists in Bulgarian constitutional law. The CEC decided on February 25 not to accept the sole bid to supply the machines, saying that the bidder did not meet the technical and timeframe criteria to supply the 12 500 machines needed to comply with a Supreme Administrative Court ruling handed down on February 1. The court ruled that to comply with an amendment to electoral law approved in 2015, there should be voting machines at all polling stations, in Bulgaria and abroad, as an alternative to using a ballot paper. Read More

Bulgaria: Election Officials Play Down Machine Voting Failure | Novinite

The Central Election Commission (CEC) has fended off claims that the vote might be contested due to the lack of electronic voting. CEC spokesperson Aleksandar Andreev has told the Bulgarian National Radio that the development is far from being the most substantial claim one could lodge over the election. The comments follow a CEC decision to cancel a tender that would have secured voting machines less than a month ahead of the election. Electronic voting has been made mandatory as an option alongside paper ballots under the latest amendments to legislation adopted last year. In the interview, however, Andreev has enumerated other possible reasons that could turn into “more serious” occasions to dispute the election results. These include the electoral rolls which have not been cleared for 27 years, giving ground to manipulate the vote. Read More