Bulgarian MPs in drama over last-minute bid for majoritarian election system

The sands of time are running out for Bulgaria’s current Parliament, but MPs from Boiko Borissov’s GERB party are mounting an 11th-hour bid to legislate a wholly new voting system that would see the National Assembly elected by majoritarian vote.

The current National Assembly is expected to be dissolved in the days after Roumen Radev takes office as Bulgaria’s new President on January 22. Early parliamentary elections are expected to follow in late March.

Borissov resigned as Prime Minister in November after his party’s candidate was defeated at the hands of Radev, who stood as the candidate of an initiative committee but was backed by the opposition Bulgarian Socialist Party. Borissov declined an offer to form a new government.

Borissov’s GERB party and the BSP both say that they back taking on board into legislation the indications of public support for changes, including a majoritarian electoral system, that emerged in a three-question national referendum on November 6.

A special meeting of the National Assembly’s legal affairs committee was called for January 10 to discuss draft legislation tabled by GERB that would see Bulgaria go over from a proportional representation electoral system to one based on a majoritarian vote. The bill envisages the President decreeing the boundaries of constituencies.

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