Bulgarian president vetoes electoral code

Bulgarian president Georgi Parvanov has vetoed the new electoral code adopted by parliament on December 22, 2010. The amendments to the electoral code had been one of the main promises of the governing parties during the electoral campaign in 2009.

In the justification for his veto, president Parvanov declared that the amendments significantly restricted citizens’ possibility to vote and be elected. He had criticised the bill – which was mainly prepared by the far-rightist party Ataka – even before it was passed and accused the government of trying to simplify its own re-election. Furthermore, Mr Parvanov criticised that the amendments did not deal with the still prevalent practices of vote-buying.

The bill will now be discussed in parliament again; it will enter into force if it is again passed with a qualified majority of votes. While this does not pose any problem to the ruling coalition, the fact that president Parvanov’s former party – the Bulgarian Socialist Party – supported the president’s veto might well be. The leadership already declared that it will bring the bill before the constitutional court if it is passed again without amendments.

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