The political dispute over Bulgaria’s new Central Election Commission (CEC) that has put the President and the parties in power at odds was set to continue in the National Assembly on March 26 2014. A twist in the dispute came on March 25 when the Movement for Rights and Freedoms, a partner in the ruling axis, said that it was giving up on getting a third seat on the CEC, in spite of its earlier demands for such a seat – and that it would opposition party GERB’s demand for a deputy chairpersonship of the commission. Centre-right GERB is the largest party in the 42nd National Assembly but also the opposition after it could find no party with which to form a governing coalition after the May 2013 national parliamentary election.
Earlier, amid infighting among parties over the CEC, which is being constituted in terms of a new law pushed through by the Bulgarian Socialist Party, head of state President Rossen Plevneliev announced that he was decreeing the composition of the commission.
Plevneliev handed the most seats to GERB, one more than the BSP, while the MRF and far-right ultra-nationalists Ataka got an equal number.
This move by Plevneliev annoyed the BSP, which accused Plevneliev of being biased in favour of the party on whose ticket he was elected President, while the MRF complained about getting the same number of seats as Ataka in spite of having more MPs than Volen Siderov’s party.