Bulgaria’s new election chief promises information campaign in English, German and French

An information campaign to encourage people to vote in Bulgaria’s May 25 2014 European Parliament elections will be offered not only in Bulgarian but also in English, German and French.

This is because foreigners – citizens of other EU countries – permanently resident in Bulgaria are also entitled by law to vote in the country’s European Parliament elections, newly-elected chairperson of the Central Election Commission (CEC) Ivilina Alexieva said.

Speaking in an interview with daily 24 Chassa, Alexieva, who was nominated to the post by the Bulgarian Socialist Party, said that she had several ideas about reforming the commission but wanted to emphasise those intended to encourage voter turnout.

She said that the new election code made it “much easier” for Bulgarians abroad to vote.

“For them, and all voters, we will not rely solely on the information being uploaded on to the site of the CEC, municipalities and the Foreign Ministry. I hope you welcome the idea of using groups on Facebook and other social networks to increase voter turnout.”

People should know what their rights are and exercise them fully, Alexieva said.

She said that she wanted to encourage people who were citizens of other EU countries to vote in Bulgaria’s European Parliament elections.

Up to 40 days before election day, they should submit an application and a statement of intent to vote, stating their permanent address in Bulgaria, she said.

Apart from Bulgaria, information would be available in English, German and French.

When it was put to her that Parliament had rejected a proposed provision in the election law that would have allowed campaigning in languages other than Bulgarian, Alexieva said that the ban on the use of languages other than Bulgarian applied only to canvassing, not to providing information about voting.

(Photo: Steven Fruitsmaak/wikinews)



The Sofia Globe staff

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