On September 1, 2020, Transparency International – Bulgaria submitted a stand to the National Assembly on the proposals for changes in the Electoral Code.
As an organization that has been monitoring the election process since 2001 and has expertise in this area, we express our concern at the changes in the election legislation being discussed. We believe that a significant part of the proposed changes to the Electoral Code are ill-considered, contradictory, creating risks and in blatant contradiction with international standards for holding fair and democratic elections. Not only do they not meet the existing significant problems in the country’s electoral process, but they create conditions for further compromising the elections, for chaos in the actions of the institutions and for destroying the remnants of public confidence in the democratic process in the country.
We consider unacceptable proposals that:
The changes in the electoral system and within the borders of the regions one year before the elections contradict the international standards of the Council of Europe, as well as Art. 10 of the Constitution of the Republic of Bulgaria, which provides for equal suffrage, including the right of voters living abroad to vote for candidates in single-member constituencies.
We call on the MPs to be at the height of their position and to approach responsibly the adoption of changes in the law, which regulates the rules for the election of the basic democratic institutions of the country.
We believe that the only rational action is for the changes in the electoral legislation to be carried out in a calm atmosphere, based on expert discussion and a broad political consensus reached.
Bulgarian society, including political parties, needs not to create new problems, but to solve existing problems in the electoral process and to increase trust in political actors. In this regard, we emphasize the need for measures aimed at: 1. Creating an electoral register with accurate data on voters at this address. 2. Adequate rules for selection and quality training of the members of the section commissions. 3. Establishment of regional counting centers, equipped with optical scanners, which correctly report the election results and make the purchased and controlled voting meaningless. 4. Creating voting conditions for citizens quarantined for Covid-19. 5. Expanding the free access to the public media for the participants in the elections as a measure compensating for the anti-epidemic restrictions at mass pre-election events.
Please find the full text of the position of Transparency International – Bulgaria here.
This position is open to support from academics, election experts and civil society organizations.
Sofia, September 2, 2020
TRANSPARENCY INTERNATIONAL – BULGARIA
CENTER FOR LIBERAL STRATEGIES
“ACCESS TO INFORMATION PROGRAMME” FOUNDATION
CIVIC ASSOCIATION “ALTERNATIVE 55″
CLUB OF NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS
“NEW HORIZONS” NGO
FREE YOUTH CENTER
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ognyan Minchev, lecturer at Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski ”
Dr. Vanya Kashukeeva-Nusheva, lecturer at Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski ”
Prof. Dr. Anna Krasteva, lecturer at NBU
Tsvetozar Tomov, sociologist, member of the CEC from 2014 to 2019.
Prof. Dr. Anthoniy Todorov, lecturer at NBU
Prof. Dr. Nikolay Naydenov, lecturer at Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski ”
Prof. Dr. Dimitar Vatsov, lecturer at NBU
Ph.D. Maria Pirgova, Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski ”
Assistant Professor Dr. Daniela Pastarmadzhieva, lecturer at the University of Plovdiv “Paisiy Hilendarski”
Assoc. Prof. Olga Simova, lecturer at NBU
Assoc. Prof. Milena Yakimova, Lecturer at Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski ”
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Daniel Smilov, lecturer at Sofia University “St. Cl. Ohridski ”
Assistant Professor Dr. Milen Lyubenov, lecturer at “St. Kliment Ohridski ”
Dr. Georgi Metodiev, political scientist
Assistant Professor Ruzha Smilova, lecturer at Sofia University “St. Cl. Ohridski ”
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Nataliya Kiselova, lecturer at Sofia University “St. Cl. Ohridski ”
Stoil Stoilov, election observer and consultant
Assistant Professor Dr. Aleksandar Aleksandrov, lecturer at UNWE
Assoc. Prof. Milena Stefanova, PhD, lecturer at Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski ”
Assistant Professor Denitsa Hinkova, lecturer at Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski ”
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Mihayl Ivanov, lecturer at NBU
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Lyubomir Stefanov, lecturer at NBU
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Albena Taneva, lecturer at “St. Kliment Ohridski ”
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Kostadin Nushev, lecturer at “St. Kliment Ohridski ”
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Emiliya Petrova, researcher at BAS
Daniel Stefanov, political scientist, election expert
Dr. Teodor Slavev, political scientist
Aleksandar Politov, political scientist
Kaloyan Velchev, political scientist
Dobromir Zhivkov, sociologist
Dr. Petya Georgieva, lecturer at NBU