Bulgarian head of state Rossen Plevneliev has described the October 25 national referendum on electronic voting as an indisputable success and proof that citizens want to participate actively in decision-making in the state, while slamming political parties for their inertia towards the issue. He also disclosed that he had asked the State Agency for National Security to investigate the hacker attack that confounded the working of the Central Election Commission website on election day, and said that he saw the attack as an attempt to discredit the idea of online voting. Plevneliev was speaking on October 30 at a briefing broadcast live on radio and television, two days after the Central Election Commission said that 69.5 per cent of those who voted were in favour of introducing electronic voting in future elections and referendums, and 26 per cent voted against, with the remaining 4.5 per cent of ballots declared invalid.
However, the outcome of the referendum does not bind Parliament to vote in line with the result, because at 39.7 per cent, voter turnout failed to clear the 48.7 per cent threshold to make it binding. Because turnout did exceed 20 per cent, the National Assembly will be required to debate the issue, although it can decide to make no changes to the status quo.
Plevneliev, in office as President since January 2012, has long been campaigning for referendums on electoral referendum. His attempt, in parallel with a civic petition of more than 500 000 signatures to call a referendum in issues in electoral reform, was rejected by the now-departed parliament at the time of the 2013/14 ruling axis of the Bulgarian Socialist Party and Movement for Rights and Freedoms, which was held in place by extremist party Ataka.