The number of Bulgarian police on duty at the border with Turkey to deal with the influx of refugees will decrease on the October 5 election day because of police returning to their home towns to vote, a media report said.
The Interior Ministry is facing a “serious problem” about how police deployed at the border would be able to vote, according to Nova Televizia.
In late 2013, the now-departed government deployed more than 1000 extra police at the border with Turkey as Bulgaria faced a significant increase in the number of refugees crossing the border illegally, mainly as a result of the continuing crisis in Syria.
To vote in the elections, police have to return to their registered places of residence to cast their ballot at a local polling station.
Valentin Popov, head of the union federation of employees of the Interior Ministry, said that in the days before and after election day, there would be rotations of police posted at the border.
This means that in the days before and after the elections, only a few police would be on duty at the border. “This could cause serious problems, even though it is a matter of two to three days,” Popov said.
Deputy Interior Minister Philip Gounev told Nova: “We were able to come up with a special rotation mode that will allow all employees to be at home at the time of the vote and to be able to vote”.
He did not explain what this rotation system was, the report said, adding that it was clear that there would be less security along the border.
The report said that in the place of the usual 1200 police on duty, at the time of the elections uniformed police from Elhovo and Bourgas would stand in, but these numbered no more than 300.