Bulgaria’s 2016 elections: The factfile

Bulgaria holds presidential elections and a national referendum on November 6 2016, and may hold a second-round presidential election on November 13. This is The Sofia Globe’s factfile.

For Bulgarians, voting in the presidential elections in compulsory, the first time this has happened after the National Assembly approved legislative amendments earlier in 2016. Voting in the national referendum, which is about three questions – including whether voting should be compulsory – is not compulsory.

Should no candidate in the presidential elections win 50+1 per cent of the vote on November 6, a second round will be held on November 13, between the two candidates with the most votes at the first round.

By law, November 5, the day before the election, is a “Day of Contemplation” on which no election campaigning is allowed. The official month-long campaign period ends at midnight on November 4.

Publishing the results of exit polls during the course of election day is illegal, however, in past elections, some media have got around this by posting this information on social networks, which are not governed by Bulgarian law.

Number of presidential candidates (each with a vice-presidential candidate): 21. Voters also have the option of voting for “I don’t support anyone”.

Number of presidential candidates who formerly worked for State Security in the communist era: 3.

Questions in the referendum: Apart from the one about compulsory votings, the other two are about introducing a majoritarian system in electing MPs, and about cutting state subsidies for parties to one lev for each vote in the most recent parliamentary election.

Number of voters: In the presidential election, 6 834 278, and in the national referendum, 6 832 288, according to the Central Election Commission.

Number of polling stations: In Bulgaria, 12 418. Outside Bulgaria, 325, in a total of 71 countries.

Voting hours: Polls open at 7am close at 8pm. Outside the country, the equivalent local times apply. Local election officials may allow those still queuing at the time polls close, to proceed to vote.

Number of times Bulgaria’s Electoral Code has been amended by Parliament since 2010: 11.

The President’s term of office: Five years. Whoever is elected in November 2016 will take office in January 2017. Bulgaria’s constitution specifies a two-term limit for the President.

Eligibility to vote: All citizens aged 18 years or older on election day have the right to vote, except those serving a prison sentence, regardless of the severity of the crime.

Voting: Apart from traditional ballot paper voting, voting machines will be available at about 500 polling stations.

Police on duty: An additional 20 000 police are being drafted for duty on election day.

Number of polling agencies registered to conduct a parallel count: Five.

Budget for the 2016 presidential elections and national referendum: 47.08 million leva. Last-minute changes to the Electoral Code added 250 000 leva in expenses, according to the Central Election Commission.

Interior Ministry hotline to report breaches of electoral law: (02) 982 2232 or e-mail [email protected]

Parking restrictions: On election day, there will be bans on parking near the National Palace of Culture, Arena Armeec and Universada Hall in Sofia. There will traffic restrictions in these areas.

Schools closing: Customarily, schools used as polling stations are closed on the day following the elections. This means a day off for pupils at schools used as polling stations on November 6 and, if there is a second round of voting in the presidential elections, on November 13. Please check with your child’s school whether it will be open on November 7 and 14.




The Sofia Globe staff

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