Bulgarian MPs rejected the proposal of center-right party GERB for introducing compulsory voting during the second reading debate of the new Election Code. The proposal was backed by 55 MPs, with 100 votes against and 6 abstentions, according to reports of Sega daily. The proposal of GERB (Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria) for introducing electronic voting was also voted down. Socialist MP Maya Manolova explained that she had voted against the introduction of compulsory voting because of EC Directives stipulating that voting at local elections in EU Member States was a right and it was not to be made obligatory to exercise. She added that the introduction of compulsory voting would also violate the Constitution.
The majority also rejected the proposal of nationalist party Ataka that people with dual citizenship be barred from voting or being elected or participating in referendums.
Under the draft Election Code, elections for MPs and municipal councilors and mayors will be scheduled by the President no later than 60 days before Election Day.
The bill also provides that the Central Electoral Commission (CEC) determines the procedures for the establishment of polling stations abroad. The CEC must adopt a decision on the matter no later than 57 days before Election Day and to immediately forward the decision to the Foreign Ministry.