The Parliament has adopted at first reading 4 draft bills for amendments to the Electoral Code and rejected 2 others. The deputies approved the draft bills moved by the parliamentary groups of GERB, the Coalition of Bulgaria, the Blue Coalition and by Yane Yanev and a group of MPs. The 2 drafts proposed by the Movement for Rights and Freedoms and Ataka party parliamentary groups were rejected.
The ruling majority is planning to put to test two ways of electronic voting – through installing voting machines in part of the electoral sections (kiosks) and through Internet. The proposal to introduce electronic voting was made by the GERB parliamentary group Vice – President Iskra Fidosova during the debates about the amendments to the Electoral Code. She mentioned in the plenary that the parliamentary majority supports the drafts submitted by the Blue Coalition, the Coalition for Bulgaria and Yane Yanev and that her parliamentary group was not intending to make any substantial changes to the proposed by them draft bill at its second reading. She said she was not in favor of the draft proposed by the Movement for Rights and Freedoms parliamentary group because the latter tries to bypass the voter’s residence for a determined period of time principle and asks to hold election campaigns in a foreign language.
The Coalition for Bulgaria deputy Maya Manolova praised some of the proposals in the drafts of Ataka and Yane Yanev and said her party will support all good proposals regardless of their political affiliation. She criticized the proposed by GERB political party, use of special intelligence means during elections but admitted the draft otherwise contains some good ideas. Movement for Rights and Freedoms deputy Lutvi Mestan defended the proposed by his parliamentary group idea to conduct election campaigns also in other languages than the official for the country Bulgarian language, on the condition that a translation is provided.
Ivan Kostov from the Blue Coalition noted that many of the drafts of the other parliamentary groups contain rational proposals but his coalition will support at first reading only their own draft and extend support for every good proposal and suggestion in the other bills at the second reading. Mihail Mihaylov from the same parliamentary group mentioned it is a good idea to halt the presentation of sociological surveys for a certain period before the Election Day. He cited as example Greece where the ban takes effect 14 days before the day of the election. The independent deputy Emil Vasilev said that for instance his party had been for years “pushed down by sociological predictions” and said the ban was a matter of principle.