Bulgaria’s political crisis: Scant chance election rules will change before 2017 vote

In spite of the outcome of Bulgaria’s controversy-ridden November 2016 national referendum on changes to the political system – including on introducing a majoritarian election system for MPs and slashing political party subsidies – there is scant chance the rules will be changed before the early parliamentary elections in 2017.

A consensus appears to be emerging among parties in the current Parliament that Electoral Code amendments are to be left to the next legislature. In any case, there appears little enthusiasm among the political establishment for a majoritarian electoral system for Parliament.

The November 2016 referendum outcome is not legally binding on Parliament, because turnout fell below the threshold to make it so. That turnout was too low to be binding remains disputed. Slavi Trifonov, a leader in initiating the referendum, met Prosecutor-General Sotir Tsatsarov on December 5, presenting what he alleged to be irregularities during voting on the referendum.

In the referendum, while – as noted – the result was not binding, there was large majority support among voters for introducing a majoritarian system and cutting state subsidies for parties from the current 11 leva a vote to just one lev.

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(Photo: podtepeto.com)