Bulgaria’s MRF party expels two MPs from parliamentary group over preferential vote
Bulgaria’s Movement for Rights and Freedoms, the third-largest party in the National Assembly, said on November 26 that it had expelled two MPs from its parliamentary group after they declined to relinquish their seats as part of a “gentleman’s agreement”.
The party said that the two, former Isperih mayor Günay Hyusmen and Musa Palev, were working not for the party but for themselves.
Senior MRF MP Tuncher Kardzhaliev told reporters that the two had not complied with an agreement within the party to give up seats in Parliament if elected by preferential vote.
Preferential voting, an innovation for Bulgaria in 2014 elections, has been controversial within parties and among the electorate. The system enables voters to shift the candidate of their choice upward in party candidate lists.
With the expulsion of the two, the number of MRF MPs decreases to 36.
Kardzhaliev said that the two had made verbal promises to keep to their promises to quit as MPs but had not done so, even after being given a month to comply with their promises.
He said that the MRF had reservations about preferential voting and had voted against it earlier before it was approved by the now-departed 42nd National Assembly.
Among the eight parties elected to the 43rd National Assembly in October 2014, there have been calls to revise the Election Act to address flaws and serious problems in the earlier version that was piloted through the previous parliament by a Bulgarian Socialist Party MP.
(Photo: MRF leader Lyutvi Mestan)