SOFIA (Reuters) – Lawmakers from Bulgaria’s opposition Socialist Party (BSP) are leaving parliament for an unspecified period, saying fair elections could not be guaranteed following recent Election Code amendments.
As the Socialists control 79 of the 240 seats in parliament, the move, approved by BSP’s national council on Saturday, could lead to numbers in parliament more frequently falling short of those it needs to pass legislation.
BSP - Heir - Bulgaria - Communist - Party
BSP, heir to Bulgaria’s once-mighty Communist Party, said the legislation had been made “in the interests of companies and oligarchs, and behind-the-scenes party arrangements only in the interests of certain parties”.
BSP, led by its first female leader Kornelia Ninova, criticized the ruling center-right coalition for failing to implement laws to improve the lives of Bulgarian citizens at a time when parliament’s approval ratings have hit a new low.
Approval - National - Assembly - Percent - December
Approval for the National Assembly fell to 8 percent in December, a survey conducted by independent pollster Alpha Research showed.
BSP set various conditions to remain in parliament, including the election of a new central election commission, a return to previous provisions on preferential voting, and a fresh debate on machine voting.
Amendments - Session - Thursday - Threshold - Voting
The amendments were voted through after a marathon 14-hour session on Thursday that raised the threshold for preferential voting and approved a gradual introduction of machine voting, as opposed to paper ballots, at Bulgaria’s two major elections this year.
The Balkan country’s European Parliament...
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