The Public Council to Bulgaria’s electoral body, the Central Electoral Commission, or CIK, on Thursday said the future of electronic voting in Bulgaria must be determined after thorough analyses and public debate. “The drastic increase in the number of the machines [for voting] in use without enough time for preparation could become an obstacle to the organization of the electoral process”, the council, which brings together experts from the civil sector, noted. The statement comes after interim Interior Minister Stefan Yanev, whose ministry is in charge of organizing the vote on March 26 said the state will provide machines for all polling stations in Bulgaria and abroad. The minister said the CIK will be in charge of organizing a public procurement for around 13,000 voting machines, without specifying whether they will be rented or purchased or how much this would cost.Full Article: Bulgaria Experts Slate Electronic Voting Ruling :: Balkan Insight.
Articles about voting issues in the Republic of Bulgaria.
Bulgarian government officials are at pains to issue assurances that the March 2017 parliamentary elections will succeed in spite of the new and costly complication about having to supply voting machines to all polling stations. But the Central Election Commission has admitted the process could face the possibility of no one meeting the conditions to provide the machines or the procurement process facing a court challenge – though the commission is insisting that if this happened, it would not call into question the legitimacy of the elections. Months after the now-departed National Assembly voted the latest rewrite of electoral laws, and months after Boiko Borissov’s government resigned and set the country on the path to early elections, the election process faces an unforeseen complication. Or one that could have been foreseen.Full Article: Bulgaria’s March 2017 elections: Welcome to the machine | The Sofia Globe.
Bulgaria: Government and Electoral Officials Looking at Ecuador, Philippines for Solution to Machine Voting Crisis | Novinite
Government and electoral officials will meet on Thursday to discuss ways to procure 12 000 voting machines, with options including an order to Ecuador or the Philippines. Talks have been scheduled between Stefan Yanev, the interim Defense Minister and Deputy PM on elections, and members of the Central Election Commission (CEC). These come less than two months ahead of the early election scheduled for March 26. On Wednesday, a supreme court ruled authorities should provide voting machines for all 12 500 polling stations. Currently, there are only 500 in stock. The announcement followed a move by CEC to warn machines would only be available for 500 polling stations, despite new legislation stipulating all stations should be equipped with them.Full Article: Bulgaria Looking at Ecuador, Philippines for Solution to Machine Voting Crisis - Novinite.com - Sofia News Agency.
The Supreme Administrative Court has ruled Bulgarian authorities have to make sure electronic voting is enabled in every polling station in the country at the snap election scheduled for the end of March. The ruling, which cannot be appealed, delivers a blow to both the interim cabinet and the Central Election Commission (CEC), which earlier this year stated only 500 polling locations would be equipped with voting machines. Bulgaria needs 12 500 machines to carry through the vote successfully under the new legislation. How 12 000 more will be procured is not immediately clear as the government insists they cannot be secured on a short notice, less than two months before a general election.Full Article: Bulgaria Must Install Voting Machines in Every Polling Station, Court Rules - Novinite.com - Sofia News Agency.
Bulgaria’s new president yesterday called an early national election for 26 March and appointed a former parliamentary speaker as caretaker prime minister until then. Ognyan Gerdzhikov, 70, currently a professor of law and head of an arbitration court, served as speaker of parliament in a centrist government from 2001 to 2005 and is now the Eastern European country’s interim prime minister. Kiril Ananiev, 61, currently a deputy finance minister in charge of budgets, will take over as finance minister, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters. Ananiev is seen as a safe pair of hands, having served as deputy finance minister in five different governments. The appointments show that President Rumen Radev, who took office this month after winning an election with the backing of the opposition Socialists, is seeking continuity and balance, analysts said.Full Article: Bulgaria set for snap election as president appoints interim PM – EurActiv.com.
Bulgaria: Russia-friendly Radev sworn in as Bulgaria’s president, set to dissolve parliament | Reuters
Former air force commander Rumen Radev was sworn in as Bulgaria’s new president on Thursday and said he would dissolve the parliament in a week’s time following the collapse of the centre-right government. Radev, a political newcomer who ran as an independent with the backing of the opposition Socialists, takes up his largely ceremonial post on Sunday after pledging to maintain Bulgaria’s position as a member of the European Union and NATO while also improving historically important ties with Russia. Radev’s decisive victory in November’s presidential race prompted the government of Boiko Borisov to resign, raising the prospect of prolonged political uncertainty in the Balkan nation and making an early parliamentary election virtually inevitable.Full Article: Russia-friendly Radev sworn in as Bulgaria's president, set to dissolve parliament.
The party of outgoing Prime Minister Boyko Borisov has submitted the draft of a new Electoral Code that provides for a switch of Bulgaria’s voting system. The text has been created by GERB lawmakers Danail Kirilov and Dimitar Lazarov. It constitutes yet another attempt of the main ruling party – the senior partner in the outgoing coalition government – to pass a change of the electoral system, from one of proportional representation to majority voting. On Wednesday, lawmakers postponed the review of a bill that would have introduced first-past-the-post voting. Under the proposals, 240 single-seat constituencies will be created (Bulgaria’s legislature has 240 seats), all of them being in Bulgaria.Full Article: Bulgaria's Biggest Party Tables Draft Electoral Code - Novinite.com - Sofia News Agency.
Forming a new Bulgarian government within the current Parliament should not be deemed impossible anymore, main ruling GERB party leader and outgoing Prime Minister Boyko Borisov has said. Speaking after a European Council session in Brussels, he has cited the results of a referendum showing Bulgarian voters’ preference for a first-past-the-post electoral system (over the currently enforced proportional representation) and the complex political situation in the region. Borisov, who by now has only shown skepticism about the Reformist Bloc’s effort to forge another cabinet after his resignation, has told reporters it is “worth scaling forward the [resignation] time just so little as to accept [a] new election law in accordance with the [results of the] referendum.”Full Article: Bulgaria's PM Makes U-Turn on New Govt over 'Referendum Results' - Novinite.com - Sofia News Agency.
Bulgaria’s Supreme Administrative Court ordered on December 14 a recount of ballots cast in the nationwide referendum on November 6 in 44 electoral precincts. The recount order comes after the initiative committee that gathered the signatures necessary to call the plebiscite lodged a complaint against the Central Electoral Committee, arguing that the electoral body had breached election rules, which could have altered the outcome of the referendum.Full Article: Bulgaria high court orders partial referendum recount | The Sofia Globe.
Bulgaria faces political uncertainty following the resignation of the country’s prime minister after results showed his party losing badly in the country’s presidential runoff. Boiko Borisov’s move early on November 14 came after official results showed pro-Moscow Socialist candidate Rumen Radev, a former air force commander with no political experience, winning the November 13 poll. “We accept the will of the people and we congratulate those who have the support of the majority of the voters,” said Borisov late on November 13 hours after polls closed.Full Article: Bulgaria Faces Uncertainty After Election Of Pro-Russia President.
Bulgarian Socialist ally Rumen Radev, a Russia-friendly newcomer to politics, won Sunday’s presidential election by a wide margin, exit polls showed, prompting centre-right Prime Minister Boiko Borisov to pledge to resign. Radev, 53, entered Bulgarian politics on a wave of discontent with the ruling centre-right’s progress in combating corruption, disappointment with the European Union and concerns among voters over alienating an increasingly assertive Russia. A former air force commander, Radev has argued Bulgaria needs to be pragmatic in balancing the requirements of its European Union and NATO memberships while seeking ways to benefit from a relationship with Moscow. Bulgarian Socialist ally Rumen Radev, a Russia-friendly newcomer to politics, won Sunday’s presidential election by a wide margin, exit polls showed, prompting centre-right Prime Minister Boiko Borisov to pledge to resign.Full Article: Russia-friendly political novice wins Bulgaria presidential election: exit polls | Reuters.
Bulgaria: Presidential run-off to determine fate of government By Elena Lalova and Boris Babic | Europe Online
Bulgarians will elect their new president in a run-off vote Sunday and, at least according to a modified promise from Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, the fate of the government. Ahead of the November 6 first-round vote, Borisov said that he will resign, probably triggering snap elections halfway through his 4-year term, if the nominee of his conservative GERB party, Tsetska Tsacheva, does not win the most votes. Tsacheva did not, as she surprisingly came in second, behind reserve General Rumen Radev, a non-affiliate backed by the opposition Socialist Party. He collected 25.44 and she 21.96 per cent of the votes.Full Article: PREVIEW Bulgarian presidential run-off to determine fate of government By Elena Lalova and Boris Babic, dpa | EUROPE ONLINE.
The number of ballots cast in Bulgaria’s national referendum, held on the same day as the first round of presidential elections on November 6, was just short of the threshold that would have made the outcome binding on Parliament, the Central Electoral Commission data showed on November 8. With all voting precincts protocols processed, the three referendum questions fell less than 13 000 ballots short of the threshold – 3 500 585, or the voter turnout in the previous nationwide elections, namely the parliamentary elections in 2014.Full Article: Bulgaria referendum turnout falls just short of making outcome mandatory | The Sofia Globe.
Socialist-backed candidate Rumen Radev, who has called for an end to European Union sanctions against Russia, has won the first round of Bulgaria’s presidential election, partial official results showed on Monday. Radev’s close-fought victory over ruling party candidate Tsetska Tsacheva makes the former air force commander favorite to win a run-off on Sunday, a result that could push the Black Sea NATO member state politically closer to Russia. Results from 95 percent of polling stations showed Radev, 53, winning 25.7 percent of the vote. Center-right candidate Tsacheva, who had been expected to win narrowly, won 22 percent. A Radev victory in the run-off could usher in months of political instability, including a possible snap parliamentary ballot, after Prime Minister Boiko Borisov signaled he may quit if his candidate Tsacheva loses. Bulgaria’s president is a largely ceremonial figure, but can also influence policy, veto legislation and sign international treaties.Full Article: Pro-Russian candidate wins first round of Bulgaria's presidential election | Reuters.
A former Bulgarian Air Force officer who has called on the European Union to lift its sanctions against Russia was the probable winner of the country’s presidential election Sunday, but he did not secure enough votes to avoid a runoff, exit polls showed. The exit polls gave opposition Socialist candidate Rumen Radev a narrow lead over the candidate of the ruling center-right party, Parliament Speaker Tsetska Tsacheva, who was seen as the race’s front-runner ahead of Sunday’s voting. The Balkan nation’s relations with Russia, the future of the European Union and immigration — in the wake of thousands fleeing Africa and the Middle East — dominated the election campaign.Full Article: Runoff expected as pro-Russia candidate tops Bulgaria race | Nation | stltoday.com.
Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borisov has added a new twist to his pledge to step down if his center-right party loses the first round of next month’s presidential election, saying this would not apply to the expected run-off vote. Borisov said late on Sunday that he would still quit if his GERB party’s candidate Tsetska Tsacheva does not top the list in the first round of voting on Nov. 6. But he would stay in office even if she lost the decisive run-off contest a week later. Bulgaria’s presidency is largely ceremonial post and opinion polls show Tsacheva leads her main rival, Socialist candidate Rumen Radev. But she faces a tight run-off race and one pollster indicates Radev might win it.Full Article: Bulgarian PM will not resign if party losses presidential run-off | Reuters.
The restriction for the opening of up to 35 electoral sections will be abolished for EU member-states but it will remain valid for the rest of the world, decided deputies in the legal commission who discussed at first reading the 12 draft bills for amendments to the Electoral Code. 17 days remain until the presidential elections. GERB’s proposal for the Central Election Commission (CEC) to allow, when necessary, voting, including on election day itself, in electoral sections abroad with more than one ballot box was also adopted.Full Article: Bulgaria's Cap on Number of Polling Stations Abroad to Be Abolished for EU - Novinite.com - Sofia News Agency.
Bulgaria’s Central Election Commission (CEC) is expected to face a challenge in the Supreme Administrative Court over its controversial decision to allow state-subidised advertising in the November referendum and presidential elections only to television and radio stations and newspapers with “national coverage” but not to regional media or online news websites. The decision has been slammed by the Union of Publishers in Bulgaria and the association of regional publishers has signalled that it will ask the Supreme Administrative Court to overturn the decision by the CEC. Bulgaria’s Electoral Code says that a newly-registered entity, such as an initiative committee, or one that does not already get a state subsidy, is entitled to a subsidy of 40 000 leva (about 20 480 euro) to place advertising to put their position in a referendum or promote their presidential candidate. Parties, coalitions or committees conclude contracts with a media outlet, and the payment for the advertising is made directly by the CEC.Full Article: Bulgaria elections 2016: Controversy over election commission decision on ‘media packages’ | The Sofia Globe.
Bulgaria’s President Rosen Plevneliev will refer to the Constitutional Court the Parliament’s “hugely regrettable” decision to override his veto on changes to election rules that could hamper voting by Bulgarian citizens residing abroad. By rejecting the veto the lawmakers “bet on a policy of confrontation even at the expense of the Constitution and basic democratic rights of citizens,” Plevneliev said in a statement on Wednesday after Parliament refused to rescind recently adopted controversial changes to the Electoral Code. The changes must be revoked as they curb the opening of polling stations abroad and will infringe on the voting rights of Bulgarian expats, according to Plevneliev.Full Article: Bulgarian President Hits back at MPs over Rejection of Veto on Election Rules - Novinite.com - Sofia News Agency.
The co-heads of the nationalist Patriotic Front coalition, which backs Bulgaria’s minority government, have said they are inclined to understand the President’s veto on a key text in electoral legislation. The development comes as a meeting is being held on Tuesday of Prime Minister Boyko Borisov and the leaders of several parties. MPs passed in April amendments to the Electoral Code introducing restrictions to the number of polling stations for Bulgarians outside the country. The changes were tabled (albeit in a much more restrictive version) by the Patriotic Front, which said the move would reduce the impact of ill-regulated mass voting by Bulgarian expats in Turkey.Full Article: Electoral Code: Nationalists Ready to Backtrack on Curbs to Voting Abroad - Novinite.com - Sofia News Agency.