Bulgaria's New Parliament Votes Moratorium on Decisions of Outgoing Government

At its first meeting on Wednesday, the legal committee of the new Bulgarian Parliament took up proposed changes in the election legislation - a total of six bills - and a draft moratorium on some decisions made by the outgoing government.

After voting on the six bills, the committee adopted only the proposed changes to the Election Code by Parliament Chair Iva Rupcheva of There Is Such a People (TISP). The MPs abstained from voting on most of the other bills.

TISP's bill includes proposals to switch to distance electronic voting in the presidential elections this year, to establish a separate constituency for voters abroad, to introduce changes related to the members of the Central Election Commission (CEC), video surveillance of vote counting, and machine voting.

The draft revisions to the election rules have been tabled by the three newcomers to Parliament - TISP, Democratic Bulgaria, Rise Up! Thugs Out!, and the formerly ruling GERB party. They seek scrapping the limit on the number of overseas voting sections in non-EU countries (35); establishing a special constituency for overseas voters; allowing video monitoring of vote counting on election day; introducing mail-in voting; and changing the election administration. GERB want the proportional representation system with majoritarian voting, which is what TISP has been campaigning for, but now say it is not the time.

There is a near-consensus for establishing a constituency for overseas voters and making it possible to increase the voting
sections in non-EU countries, which is supported by most parties, and these two are likely to go through. Having more than 35 overseas voting sections across the world will mostly benefit Turkey, the UK and the US, all of which are...

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