A group of MPs from the Bulgarian Socialist Party have provided the signatures needed for a petition by far-right ultra-nationalists Ataka – which won no seats in Bulgaria’s May 25 2014 European Parliament elections – to challenge the election in the Constitutional Court.
Volen Siderov’s Ataka party has 23 members in the National Assembly and produced 21 signatures for its petition. Forty-nine MPs from the BSP, current holder of the mandate to govern, added their signatures, bringing the total to one more than the minimum 48 needed for members of the National Assembly to submit a petition to the Constitutional Court.
Ataka alleges that a large number of irregularities and vote-buying mean that the European Parliament elections in Bulgaria cannot be accepted as valid.
The May 25 European Parliament elections, which saw five parties win seats – centre-right GERB (six), the BSP (four), the Movement for Rights and Freedoms (four), BWC (two), the Reformist Bloc (one) – face three challenges in the Constitutional Court.
Another is from Ataka’s ultra-natioanlist rival the National Front for the Salvation of Bulgaria, which outdid Siderov’s party but also did not win a seat, while the Reformist Bloc also is attempting a challenge. The basis for the NFSB challenge, which it is asking state institutions entitled to do so to submit on its behalf, includes election law having been amended in less than the permissible deadline for doing so.
The Reformist Bloc has written to the President, the National Assembly, the Cabinet, the Supreme Court of Cassation, the Supreme Administrative Court and the Prosecutor-General to approach the Constitutional Court about the illegitimacy of the election results, the Bloc said in a media statement.
The bloc cited 14 grounds for challenging the elections, including irregularities in the composition of precinct election commission, organisational shortcoming, voting abroad carried out in violation of election law, vote-buying, failure to maintain the secrecy the ballot, errors in the final count, among others.
It said that there had been alerts from a number of non-government organisations that observed the electoral process that there were “massive violations” of the law in counting and recording the outcome of voting.