Bulgaria set to face referendum on political reforms

Bulgaria appears set to hold a referendum on a number of political and electoral reform issues after an official check of signatures on a petition showed that there was a sufficient number to bind the National Assembly to call one.

A statement by Bulgaria’s Regional Development and Public Works Ministry said that of 672 888 signatories checked, a total of 572 650 were found to be valid.

Bulgarian law requires the issue of holding a referendum to be voted on by Parliament if a minimum 400 000 citizens eligible to vote sign a petition calling for one.

The petition was raised by Slavi Trifonov, a television talk show host, and presented to National Assembly officials on February 8 2016.

Announcing the results of the check, the ministry said that it had established that there were 99 838 invalid signatures. Of these, 71 719 had false personal identity numbers, 8103 had incorrect addresses, 6469 had false or incomplete names, and 11 274 were repeated entries on the petition.

The check found that 2273 of those who signed were not entitled to vote. Of these, 730 were not Bulgarian citizens, 480 were below the voting age of 18, 81 were subject to legal restrictions, 29 were serving jail sentences.

And apparently, 953 people had signed Trifonov’s petition in spite of being dead.

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